Happy July 1st! For some of us, i.e. me, this is the month where we’re scheduled to have a baby. For others, this is the month where a new job will commence. And in some situations, these two unusual circumstances will collide.
New medical residents start their shifts on July 1st. The maximum hour shifts for first year residents, as of today, is 16 hours…apparently laid-back, compared to the normal way of life of a first year resident. Second year residents are allowed to work 24 hour shifts, although “strategic napping” is recommended. Sort of like being a new parent, isn’t it?
I’m due next week, so who knows what will happen…but here in the US, many know that July 4th is…well, July 4th. And on July 4th, everyone with any seniority in any job in the world decamps for beach, mountain, or recreational locations, leaving people who don’t know what they’re doing…I mean, people who are comparatively new on the job…to do the work. I’ve been in that position myself, and have fond memories of spending my Fourth of July weekends working on briefs that were fairly eviscerated by partners after the fact.
I don’t like the idea of my baby, due to scheduling constraints beyond my control, being delivered by someone who has less experience delivering babies than I do (this will be my third, after all).
But the fact of the matter is that baby birthin’ is fairly unpredictable business, regardless of the time of year. You never know what’s going to happen or where. With my first child, I remember going to my Lamaze class and being surprised that everyone had drawn up elaborate birth plans. I looked down at my piece of paper, which said, “Have the baby.” I mean, homework for Lamaze class is a bit much…but also, the fact is that this is one of those “Women plan, God laughs” kind of situations. The more elaborate the birthing plan, the more guaranteed it seems one is of having a c-section.
I’ve been having off-and-on contractions and pain for the past few days and am trying to go through life with as little variation as possible. I went to a film screening yesterday, and am relieved to report that I didn’t give birth either inbound or outbound in the Lincoln Tunnel. In an effort to court as many germs as possible, I’m taking my older son to the pediatrician today so he can get over his cold in time to hopefully meet his little sister in the hospital when she’s born. I have flip flops to return. Will the day end with me having a baby? Who knows?
You can’t sweat the small stuff or the big stuff. Resident possibly delivering my baby? I can’t stress about it – you never know what’s going to happen. And so that’s why when I watch the fireworks with my husband, parents and boys Monday night, I’m going to make sure I get a good seat – right next to the E.M.T. truck.