Sunday, January 01, 2012

Phoenix' New Years baby?

Picture stolen from the internet. Simon was actually cuter.
It's been 20 years since I've worked New Years, but here I am. In my old practice in Michigan I always offered to take call on Christmas or Christmas Eve since I didn't have kids and we didn't have enough Jews in town.  But this year, it's a new state, new partners, new priorities and I was asked to work New Years. No problem.

I forgot about the drama, the overriding theme of who will have the first baby of the New Year. Every patient who comes in to be evaluated is hoping to have the New Years baby. "I hope I'm in labor." Well, what do you know, about 4pm a couple wanders in, she's contracting regularly and changing her cervix. The board is full of multips in various stages of labor, all destined to deliver before midnight, but Agnes and Donald (names changed) are here with their first and the timing seems right...a centimeter per hour, plus some pushing, puts her close to delivery by midnight.

The hours pass, the epidural is placed, the baby is doing fine. She's 8cm at 10pm, hmmm.  Others are delivering and I'm back doing a c-section at 11:15 PM on someone who came in dilated who was scheduled for a repeat c-section in a couple weeks. Agnes is making more progress and the nurses call in to the OR for me to go directly to the delivery room when I'm finished.  As I enter, the nursing house manager is present (usually not a good sign, but tonight is different) with a camera and words of encouragement. Agnes is pushing like a trooper and the baby is crowning on the perineum.

"Push it up slowly, everything is going well," I say.  Donald is excited, holding the video camera with one hand and his wife's leg with the other, learning to multitask early.

Another nurse sticks her head in the delivery room, "Desert [hospital, across town] has someone about to deliver, too. They're asking how close we are."

"Close," three of us say in unison. Two RN's, a baby nurse and the manger, with all our attention trained on the laboring patient.

And there it is. Happy New Year, little Simon comes out and gasps his first breath! Desert had a delivery at 11:57 PM and ours was at 12:01AM.  The New Years baby! We got the New Years baby! A city of  4 million, and it's us. Can that really be?

Congratulations, pictures, phone calls, texts, bubbly grape juice. A celebration to remember. Now we wait for the newspaper reporters and TV crew in the morning.

As I'm doing the paperwork, one of the RN's comes up, "Did you hear what Desert did?"

"No," I say.

"They said their clock was off by 3 minutes and their "official" clock said exactly midnight when their baby was born."

"Huh? That makes no sense."

"I know," she says, "but that's their story. They got the New Years baby."

Agnes and Donald don't really care, they have a beautiful boy and that's all that matters.  I have to say that it never really meant much to me to deliver the New Years baby, I never really wanted to even work on this holiday, but when it looked like it happened I definitely felt the excitement, the rush. The cutthroat world of obstetrics... victory was snatched away by the Desert hospital demons.

1 comment:

Hilary said...

Sorry about the disappointment, however small it was. I bet the parents of the kid born at the hospital with the broken clock are going to be even more disappointed when they realize they were cheated out of a last-minute, relatively large, tax exemption! There's always next year, unless of course the World ends by then.