After 23 years, I’ve delivered my last baby. As a family physician, I have loved caring for patients— from conception til death. And, honestly, prenatal visits and new parenting visits are some of my favorite times with patients! I’ve juggled delivering my patient’s babies between delivering my own three children years ago. My husband has met me in hospital parking lots at a moments notice to successfully hand-off our three young children as I run to deliver a crowning baby. We’ve made it work. Our crazy life has worked.
But, since moving and delivering babies at a new medical center, I have lost my passion for the juggle. It takes a supportive network for a family physician to want to perform obstetrics in what has always been a high-stakes environment:
- knowledgeable office staff to schedule prenatal patients appropriately,
- a patient population that is compliant with lab tests, office visits and ultrasounds,
- a medical center with collaborative, supportive staff,
- and obstetricians happily willing to take my patient for an emergent C-section, if the need arises.
Indeed, I do not have the necessary environment…and after trying to re-shape the local environment for three years, I am redirecting my energy. I tell resident physicians that their first job will not be their last. And, indeed, all of the skills that I was trained with I will not continue to use.
I feel blessed to have delivered hundreds (maybe thousands?!) of babies. I will cherish those times and relationships as I forge ahead.
Carpe diem. Seize the day.