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Chainsaws and Other Stress Relievers

Posted Dec 10 2012 1:29pm
I took this photo the other day on my way to the office and I think it is one of the more inspired decals that I have ever seen on a car's back window. As a fertility doctor I celebrate in the successes of our patients but that also means that I also share in their pain and frustration when it doesn't work out.

The holiday season can be tough on our patients. The daily mail brings holiday greetings from friends and family that report the happy news of a new pregnancy or a new birth. For those struggling with infertility or pregnancy loss these letters can make it seem like everyone is getting pregnant but them ("Guess what? We will be having a new bundle of joy next year! And we were using 3 methods of birth control and I can't even remember having sex!). Yup, just what our patients want to hear...

The proliferation of the individual family member decals that populate rear windows here in the Washington DC metro area also seems a bit over the top. Perhaps our patients can filter out these reminders of the frustration of infertility better than I think....perhaps not. Although infertility has not been one of our family's medical struggles, I think that I have some perspective into how emotionally distressing fertility problems can be for my patients.

As an Ob Gyn resident I took care of hundreds and thousands of patients. I handled deliveries that were happy events and some that were not...especially if it was a premature baby. When my son was born 6 weeks early I was surprised by how difficult it was for me as a parent. The same day that he was born one of the Labor and Delivery nurses popped out a 8.5 pound baby and was walking around showing that kid off to everyone. Meanwhile my son was in the NICU with an IV in his umbilicus and concern over apnea and bradycardia. I hated that nurse. Yes I know it was completely irrational. And I knew that my son would certainly have every expectation of quickly graduating from the NICU (actually it took over a week). But it didn't matter. I was still really upset that she was able to parade around with that newborn.

If I had a chainsaw, then I would have chased her down the corridor....
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