Borrowed Time

Almost three years ago I was about to give birth to my daughter.

I could not find a locum (a floating physician) to cover my practice until I reached 41 weeks gestation. So each day I had prayed that she would stay put and stay safe as I continued to work full time. Finally, induction day arrived. The locum was starting the next day. We made it!!!

At 5 AM on the way to the hospital I joked that I had once wanted only elective C-sections to save my vagina, but now I just didn’t want a C-section at all. Assisting in these surgeries, knowing that my uterus would be exposed for the world to see and that my arms would be tied down, I was terrified of the possibility.

Unfortunately, there was a phenomenon at play…if you are a physician or the child of a physician, there is a much higher probability of badness happening when you are in the hospital.

In the midst of the pitocin, after I had my epidural (marvelous invention that), my OB shows up to find instead of a head, there was a hand presenting. Drama ensued. Emergency C-section. Meconium. NICU.

One of my hobbies is Victorian medicine. Like what did women in the 1800’s do when they had a yeast infection, before diflucan? So it hit me hard to realize that living at that time my daughter and I would have died. The good old days were not good for women. At all.

When I was a kid, I would stand in the middle of old houses or old buildings and close my eyes, believing that if I wished hard enough that I could be transported back in time. I had a list of things I would take with me, though… a lifetime supply of deodorant, toothpaste, and hair dye. And tampons.

Anyway, here I am living on borrowed time now. I no longer dream of living in another era. I think I actually have it pretty good right now. Unless they really do start decanting babies in the future like Mr. Huxley suggested… in which case, sign me up…

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