Saturday, October 24, 2009

Obesity and Pregnancy Just Do Not Mix!

Okay, Okay. You're looking at this picture right now and thinking, "Come on, you're totally exaggerating!" I wish I was. Not so long ago I tended to a 9-month pregnant patient that tipped the scales at 458 lbs! Yes, you heard me correctly. I was so disturbed by this experience that I knew I had to write a blog about it. Here are the highlights...

1) HOW AND WHO??? - When a woman of this size appears on my unit, I can only think of 2 simple questions... How did you get pregnant? AND Where is this man that did this to you? Unfortunately, there was no father of the baby present for her. Her mother was her only support person.

2) Veins? What are those? - Okay, so when I first admit a patient to Labor & Delivery, the first thing I need to do is start an IV. Need I say how difficult it is to find a good vein in a morbidly obese patient? She continued to look at me skeptically, thinking I didn't have the experience or skill to get this IV in her. To add insult to injury, she says to me, "Okay, I hope you're good at this because I am afraid of needles and I don't want you to stick me in my hand, wrist, or forearm (okay, she didn't actually say forearm, but she pointed to that area)." I'm sitting here, thinking, "You come here with all 458 lbs of yourself and have the nerve to make demands like that?!" I stuck her in her hand anyway :o).

3) When breathing is a chore... I took care of this patient for over 9 hours that day, and after she got her epidural (yes, they were able to get an epidural in her after about 5 or 6 tries), she went into a sleep that absolutely terrified me. For those of you that don't know, most people that are morbidly obese like her, suffer from sleep apnea. This means that she stops breathing in her sleep. Well, between her horribly chilling snoring and her apnea, I was so disturbed. I mean, she couldn't possibly be comfortable or rested after that. It was a scary sight to watch.

4) "You want me to hold her WHAT???" Okay, so it's about 5pm and she is now 10 centimeters dilated. So, you know what that means... it's time to push! Now, with the combo of her weight and her numb epidural legs, you know there's not much a 145-lb woman can do to help her. The resident turns to me and has the nerve to say, "Okay, now we need to help her hold her legs back so she can push this baby out." Are you effin' kidding me??? I pulled her aside nicely out in the hallway and let her know I wasn't touching those legs. I like my back just the way it is... strong and healthy. Well, we eventually came up with a good solution and she delivered a beautiful baby girl at about 6:30pm!

Of course, this was still a beautiful miracle to watch despite what I went through that day. The outcome was perfect... healthy baby and mom was fine. I joked in my blog a lot about his patient, but in reality this is no laughing matter. Women with morbid obesity have very poor pregnancy outcomes. My take home message for all women is that before you decide to have a baby, please take good care of yourself. Eat right, exercise, and try to get plenty of sleep at night. Women, respect your bodies and take care of yourselves first!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lying - Who are we really protecting?

This past weekend, a very dear friend revealed a pretty significant bit of information to me that she had been hiding for over a year. I'm not going to delve into what exactly it was, but after thinking about it for the last 24 hours, I can't help but put my thoughts down on a blog.

I received a text message from my friend at about 1am saying (I'm paraphrasing), "Please call me tomorrow. There is something I've been meaning to talk to you about for a very long time and it's been very hard especially since you know me better than anyone." HUH??? I was thrown. What could it be? Is she sick or dying? Did she sleep with an ex? Is she a lesbian? I mean, my thoughts went wild from the time I received this text. I could barely sleep or concentrate until I spoke with her.

Well, needless to say, her confession wasn't devastating to me, especially since I was wondering if she was going to tell me she had only 6 months to live or something. I comforted her and let her know that it was okay and that it wasn't that big a deal and that she could've told me from the very beginning. We talked for about an hour after that and I think we were both fine and happy that the truth was out.

Well that was yesterday. Today I'm upset. I mean, why the lying??? I'm 32 years old. This is not high school people. Why did she have to wait a whole damn year to tell me something important like this??? The secret is not the problem, it's the deception. Now that I know the secret, I'm made aware of how long and how many times I've been lied to about this in the past year. On top of that, there were people close to me that also knew this secret and I was deliberately left out.

After this experience, it really got me thinking about lying. How many times have we heard, "Oh, I didn't tell you because I didn't want to hurt you," or "I didn't want to get you upset," OR my favorite, "I didn't know how you'd react." BULLSHIT. Lying is about protecting yourself and not about the other person. Lying is about fear - plain and simple. Fear that one may lose someone dear to them. Fear that one will look really bad to others. Fear of the truth - that what they have been lying about gives that person the absolutely right to never want to speak to you again.

I know it's hard to ask people to stop lying in general. I mean, it's part of our everyday lives. We tell lies all the time, sometimes not even realizing it. All I ask is that we just try to live our lives in a manner that won't require lying to those we love. Do the right thing and you'll never have to lie about it.

Monday, October 20, 2008


At work a few days ago, I took care of the most wonderful couple. They were a young, married, beautiful African-American couple in their 30's pregnant with their first baby. They had been trying for almost 2 years. There was only one catch... she was only 5 months pregnant and their unborn child was diagnosed with problems that were incompatible with life. They were making the hardest decision they could... to terminate the pregnancy.

For those that don't know, when a couple decides to do this, the mother still has to go through with the whole labor and delivery process. They experience the same pain and have to push just the same as if it was a healthy 9-month pregnancy. This was a very hard day for me and the saddest delivery you could imagine. Instead of seeing a delivery in which a healthy screaming baby is born, I had to witness nothing but tears of sadness at the delivery of a lifeless child. They cried. I cried. We all cried at the sight.

It got me to thinking. It's just so unfair that there are all these teen mothers having their 2nd and 3rd babies in the world, and this wonderful couple is still seeking their first child. It also made me realize how many take pregnancies for granted. So I ask all of you out there that are pregnant to be thankful for the blessing you have been given. Children are a gift from God, so cherish it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


On November 10, 2007, I had one of the most important days of my life... I married the love of my life, Reggie. It was a wonderful event, from start to finish. All my closest friends and family were there to witness it and wish us well. Not to mention, it was a non-stop party until about 6am!!!!

You would be amazed at how many people, THE DAY OF MY WEDDING, congratulated me and in the same breath asked me that annoying question, "So, when are you having kids?" Are you effin kiddin' me?! You may think I'm exaggerating, but trust me I'm not. I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm 31 and everyone has been waiting for me to start a family for so long, and once I got that marriage license they figured "all systems go." I don't think so, people.

Needless to say, 11 months later, this question has gotten more frequent and more annoying. From family to friends to co-workers, they all are wondering when I'm gonna get knocked up. Believe me, if they would carry the baby, take care of it, and provide for it, I would drop one right now!!! Ever heard of planning???

The fact that I work on Labor & Delivery makes it worse for sure. Believe me when I tell you these doctors and nurses I work with are on a constant pregnancy patrol. They wanna be the first to crack the case of a woman who hasn't yet revealed her pregnancy to the public. It's ridiculous. I say, "I'm Tired," they raise their eyebrows. Um, ever heard of a newlywed woman having late nights with her husband??? I tell them my stomach is bothering me, they smile at me. What? I couldn't have just had some bad Chinese? And I better not gain a pound or forget about it!
Look, whatever happened to enjoying your marriage for a while? You only get one time to enjoy the newlywed period, so I'm not going to waste it. I didn't get married so that I could immediately start having children and just because I'm in my 30's doesn't mean I'm going to rush into it just bc my so-called clock is "ticking." I got married for one reason only... I wanted to make the ultimate commitment to my best friend. Yes, children are in the picture, but just not now. So, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. Don't ask me again about children. I'm a happily married woman, so it won't be some scandalous secret when I become pregnant. I'll let you know, OK?

My First Blog

Hello my fellow bloggers! This is my very first blog entry. I just wanted to welcome you to my spot. For the longest time, I've needed a means to vent about things that annoy the hell out of me or just ponder the many questions and mysteries of this world we live in. Well, here it is. Stay tuned ...