Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Haze

It's almost Christmas, a season that can turn the most placid of households upside down; so it follows that the chaos that exists on a daily basis in our house is multiplied three-fold during this time of the year. Shopping, cards, wrapping (or not wrapping as is our case), prepping the house, and controlling the building Christmas fervor from young CindyLou and keeping the Bean from upending the tree makes day to day life that much more, um, full. Ha.

Labor and Delivery is not immune to Christmas Chaos, either. Every induction slot is filled with patients hoping to check "have a baby" off of their pre-Christmas to-do list, much like the shopping for and wrapping of gifts. To be honest, I'm not really certain how I feel about that. Let's face it, no one, doctor or patient, wants to be in the hospital on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Doctors hope to spend those rare days away from the office with the people that they love, not in the nurse's station on L&D. Pregnant women with children want to be certain to secure the holiday for their children that have already been born. There are enormous familial pressures for these women to have their babies "home for Christmas." It makes for a lot of soft, elective induction calls, and sometimes, when a patient truly needs to have a baby for medical reasons, it throws everyone's nice, neat plans into a tailspin. I've seen a few of these holiday plans get ruined by a true medical emergency, and while it is unfortunate, sometimes I wonder if it doesn't serve us right for trying to control as much about labor as we do.

Personally, I have 2 patients due right around Christmas Day, one of whom has a potentially macrosomic baby, and, since they are both healthy and doing well in all other aspects of their pregnancies, we are not scheduling them for induction this week. I hope they will go into labor without medical assistance. It makes it difficult to make definitive holiday plans, given the unpredictability of my profession. OtherDoc and I try to split up Christmas Eve/Day, and New Year's Eve/Day, in order to get some of that time off with our families. I approached him about doing that this week, and he has not decided which days he wants to take call. I already worked the long Thanksgiving holiday, and I hope he takes that into consideration. I am almost giddy that I won't have to deal with this BS next year, and if I do work Christmas, I certainly won't be working Thanksgiving or New Year's. I. Can't. Wait.

So, I will end this rambling, no point post here. What ever your holiday plans may be, I wish you and yours a peaceful season. I enjoy sharing glimpses of life with you, and hope that you will continue to read here in 2009. Merry Christmas from all the Whoos down in Whoo-ville! :)


Shawnee said...

Thanks for the reminder to wrap presents, really need to check that off my list. I am 38 weeks pregnant and have had braxton-hicks for the past week. I am hoping to not go into labor until after Christmas so I can spend the last moments of my daughter being the one & only. Have a good holiday and I hope your plans don't get wrinkled too badly.

Trope said...

Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope it's a lovely holiday, filled with at least a little rest.

Anonymous said...

Well, when is he going to decide? Christmas Eve? What a maroon!

Lisa said...

Just wanted to thank you for e-mail response a few weeks ago. I was able to talk to my OBGYN about my concerns. Have a wonderful holiday with your family.

Anonymous said...

I have four relatives with birthdays on Jan 7. I've always wondered if there is something magical about that day for women pregnant over the holidays.

Overall I think it's a better deal to have a birthday right after Christmas than right before. People unwind after the holiday and you can always hint hard about what you didn't get for Christmas that you really want for your birthday.

Unknown said...

I just finished reading through your entire blog over the past couple of days and it's been incredibly fascinating to me. I am a tax lawyer who always wanted to be an OB/GYN (but esp. after I gave birth to my daughters) but I get to live vicariously through your experiences. One question I have is that I've read other doctors' and midwives' blogs before (none written as well as yours - you are very good at letting your voice and emotions shine through), but they all seem to deliver stillborn babies pretty frequently. Does your hospital have a lower rate of stillborn births or do you simply choose not to blog about these tragedies?

dr. whoo? said...

Hi Shawnee~ Thank you. I hope you had a great Christmas and (hopefully by now) delivery!

Trope~ Thanks so much! I had a great holiday, and I hope that you did, as well. ;)

mamadoc~ Actually, he didn't decide until Christmas Eve. (I did get to spend Christmas Day with my family). I agree with your assessment, though. :)

gingerb~ Yes, in some ways it is much busier between Christmas and New Year's, as people strive to get that "little tax deduction" delivered. As a resident (pre kids) I always picked to work over Christmas week as opposed to New Year's week because, as a rule, it was much less busy.

Susan~ Hello, welcome, and thank you for the very kind words about the blog! I have had quite a few still births over the years. I have been fortunate not to have too many in the last few years.

I don't believe that our hospital statistics are any better or any worse than any where else, but we don't do a lot of high risk deliveries, so that may have something to do with it. No reason in particular that I haven't blogged about them, just haven't had anything I've wanted to say on that particular subject, yet. Thanks for reading! :)

dr. whoo? said...

Ooops, Lisa Marie, sorry I missed your comment! You are very welcome, and I'm glad you were able to talk openly with your doctor. Hope your holidays went well!