Tales from the ER #3
A Nursery Story
A mid-summer med school rotation in the newborn nursery. Tons of fat sweaty women relieved to be rid of an extra 8 pounds. The med student morning scut work was to examine each baby and inquire if mom had chosen a name. Baby daddies were around, but they didn’t choose names. First few patients were easy, except for the one random baby who refused to open their eyes for the red light reflex test.
Next room was at the end of the hallway, room 507. I knocked. No answer. I gently opened the door and saw the baby in its crib which appeared to be moving. I took a step inside and saw baby mama giving baby daddy a blow job on the floor beside the crib. Flustered I said, “Oh my God I’m so sorry I’ll come back later!”
The pediatric residents I were working for were all bitches. “We need the physical exam for 507 before we can finish our note.” I waited one hour before going back to room 507, making sure to knock very loud this time. “Yeah?” OK mom is talking so blow job must be over. She was actually very nice. I didn’t mention the earlier incident. After I told her the baby looked healthy she said, “You know, his daddy’s been away for a while now, but he just got out.” That explains it – baby daddy knocked her up, went to prison, and got out just in time for the birth of his son and a blow job. “Have you picked a name?” “Yes, but I want it to have a top comma.” Top commas are apostrophes. That year hyphens had fallen out of fashion. “Yes names can have top commas.” “I know, I just don’t know where to put it yet – at the beginning, or at the end…” She looked so genuinely torn about this decision I thought it best to leave her with her thoughts.
The next day it was time to discharge the baby home with mom. The med student scut work for discharges involved going over things like installing car seats and how to mix WIC baby formula with water properly so the baby doesn’t seize and die. I walked into room 507 with a mountain of paperwork no one would or perhaps even could read. Baby daddy was back, looking like a proud papa with his son in his arms. Well, his son was in one of his arms, the other was holding a lit cigarette dangerously close to the 100% oxygen port in the wall. “Sir, you can’t smoke in here.” He just looked at me and took another drag. I wasn’t going to put up a fight with someone who had just gotten out of prison. I sat down with mom and went over the paperwork while coughing. When I was done with all the counseling I put the papers in a folder. The cover of the folder had a space to write the baby’s name. “How do you spell his name?….Is that correct?” “Yes, it cuz his daddy and the 4th of July comin’ soon.”