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The Gamut

Two back-to-back births that ran the gamut.  One striking difference was the OB management of delivery. 

Dr. Masked Man:  He showed up only when baby was crowning.  He involved a surgical tech who draped the mom’s legs and torso in blue sterile paper.  To hold her legs, I had to fight with the ridiculous paper and I did get “the look” from the tech when I rubbed the mom’s thigh over the paper.  The dr. wore a surgical mask, a face shield, a scrub cap, long gloves, full scrubs, and boots.  It could have been anybody under that getup!  The surg tech kept pouring soapy water on the mom without warning and scrubbed her down with antiseptic.  The room was bright and filled with people.  When baby was born, dr. immediately clamped the cord.  Baby was held up (for the photo shot maybe?) and then handed to a nurse for twelve million footprints and procedures.  Then dr. applied strong cord traction for the placenta. 

Dr. Polo Shirt:  Wore casual “street clothes.”  Called the mom by name.  In fact, he called all of us by name.  The room was dim and the only other person was the nurse.  When baby was born, dr. handed her to the mom.  He patiently waited for the cord to stop pulsing while the mom breastfed.  Cord clamped (and cut by me–my first!), mom cleaned up, and dr. patiently waited for the placenta.  He quietly respected the postpartum time by slipping out of the room.  He came back later to quietly bid us all goodnight.   

Which would you choose?  And how would a newly pregnant mom know to even ask the questions to find the right choice? 

7 responses »

  1. I just told Graham that if I have to go with an OB next time I’m choosing Dr. Polo Shirt. He sounds awesome.

  2. I feel lucky to have had one of those personable doctors who wasn’t in a rush. He may not have understood everything I wanted, but he’d always take the time to answer our many questions at appointments (in his office, not in the exam room with my feet still in the stirrups). He remembers us and asks about Suzi. A nurse did push on me to get the placenta out though, and it hurt a little. At the time I didn’t know any better.

  3. I’ve heard good things about Stafford. It’s too bad he is not allowed to do VBACS. He did take the time to speak to me like a human and try to find me some help. A rare and precious commodity when making that search.

  4. Dr. Polo Shirt!!! That is too funny…that nickname might just stick, I think. And, yeah, he is great. : )

  5. Aw…dr. polo shirt. Sometimes I get sad about using an OB but I guess I have to be thankful to have such a great one!!!

  6. Ugh. I think my [former] doctor is Dr. Masked Man. That describes him, that’s for sure!

    But, honestly, how does a new mom figure out what the doc will be like at birth, you know? He said he rarely did episiotomies, but forced one on me while I hysterically screamed at him to give me one more chance to push the baby out on my own. He said he supports breastfeeding and bonding, but let the nurses take the baby away for a gazillion footprints/weight checks/measurments while my empty arms ached. He said I could labour in any position, misleading me to believe that he’s let me give birth in any position. He didn’t. I had to push the baby out on my back in bed with stirrups.

    And that stupid blue paper/cloth!! Ugh.

    Never again. No more doctors for me!!

  7. I know this particular post is dated, but we have an appt with Dr. Stafford next month. We’ll have to drive over 60 miles from home to his office but from hearing/seeing the awful “policies” and “procedures” other hospitals and ob/gyns have around here it will be well worth it! If you even think of delivering via hospital do your research! Tour the hospital early, ask questions, and talk to other moms about what happened in their births.


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