My OBGYN's Impossible Request

Annie Krasnow

I went to the doctor today to get my cervix checked. This is my last appointment before baby. I am scheduled for induction next week. I brought my husband, my DVD so she could add all the cute sonogram images of my baby to it, and I filled out my hospital registration form -- yes I'm late with that.

I was ready to say a huge goodbye to my doctor and her staff when she said to me, "Oh. By the way, Try not to go into labor on Saturday. It's my birthday and I have plans. My husband got me tickets to something."


She went on to tell me that of course she'll leave whatever she is doing to come to me, but it may take her awhile depending on traffic. Normally she is on this side of town, but on Saturday it's an exception. "Don't worry. You won't have the baby on Saturday," she assured me. Um. Okay. How do you know?

I asked, "Who is going to deliver if not you?" She tells me it's her own OBGYN and tells me the name. I will admit that it's a good endorsement for the substitute that a doctor picked her, but still. I was starting to feel uneasy.

"So, if I go into labor, should I call you?" She tells me that of course I should call her. Her event isn't that long. Her entire tone is casual and she's sort of joking -- but not.

Now I start thinking that it's this woman's birthday. She has a life outside of work. Do I really want to call her on her birthday when she's leaving this side of town for the first time in months? I wish she never told me.

She's right. I probably won't have the baby on Saturday. There are 168 hours from now until my induction. Saturday afternoon is the only five-hour window that my doctor won't be available. What are the chances? But, of course, now I'm completely nervous that Saturday is the day.

I have a friend who went into labor and ended up having a different doctor deliver her baby. Now that fill-in doctor is her regular doctor. She ended up liking him better. I sort of see why. Maybe there's something to the fact that her doctor wasn't there for her when she needed her most.

No human can be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's an absurd and impractical standard to hold someone to. But, am I wrong to be annoyed at her casual delivery of that news? Or is it better that she warned me?

Image via [lauren nelson]/Flickr


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