Monday, October 02, 2006


The mother labored, close to delivery, while the obstetrician and nurses called out instructions and encouragement. It was a big baby and they had to use a vacuum to get the baby's head out. Mother had been making the usual sounds, some cries and questions, but just before delivery she suddenly shouted "WHAT THE F---!?" She repeated the phrase a little louder, just in case anyone in the hospital had missed it the first time, and followed it up with some choice scatalogical terms.

It struck me as she said this just how rarely I hear that term in the delivery area. In an area filled with high emotion and people in pain, I practically never hear the F word, although I didn't realize that until I heard it at this delivery. I'm a little surprised by that. You would think we would hear it commonly as an exclamation - not only because it's a common expletive but also because the F word and pregnancies share a common origin.

I'm not sure why we don't hear it much. I mean, I'm sure our patients have it in their vocabulary. Yet, in the labor and delivery area, cries to an almighty being far outweigh the use of the F word. Don't get me wrong: I'm not asking to hear it more, just puzzling briefly over it's scarcity.

This mother had more unusual language, too. As mentioned before, this was a large baby, weighing more than 4 kilograms, more than 9 pounds. When told this the mother asked "Is that why it hurted so much?"

Yes, the nurse said, that's why it hurted so much.

Good grief - it's contagious.


Blogger My Heart On My Sleeve said...

This made me laugh. A lot. There's a sign in the breakroom today on the unused microwave, it states, "this is the broke microwave". The word THE is underlined, as though there is another microwave roaming around the facility with no funds.


4:01 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

That's classic. Coming from the mom with the biggest potty mouth ever, I'll say this... I've learned, over the years, when and where to stifle myself (Edith!!). LOL, had I not had an epidural with both of mine, one might have heard similar language. Otherwise, I do my best to make others see me for who I am, an intelligent, good mother who can be trusted with the care of her own children. Still laughing, that language would make me look otherwise. These days it takes a few coctails to trigger my perpetual potty mouth. I'm guessing the pain triggered hers :)
Kelley (with a new blog name)

4:15 PM  
Blogger Pajama said...

Oh, this made me laugh out loud! I wonder if there is any correlation between the words issued during the act that leads to pregnancy and the act of giving birth. Make you think, huh?

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

You should do a study on the most common words used during childbirth. I'm sure it would be a nice respite from the hard science articles that'd surround it.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A woman who works in my husband's office had the obstetrician walk out of her delivery because her language was so bad. The Dr. did come back in after she calmed down. She was angry because she was too far gone to get an epidural.

She has alcohol, marital and anger issues and is difficult to get along with so no one was really surprised to hear this story.


8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I let loose with my mother tongue during the delivery of my son (worn-off epidural, vacuum delivery.) Although I am an Ex-pat,they see enough American movies in Germany to understand what I was saying. They said: "Don't swear, push!"

Hey, all the books say not to worry about anything in that stage. Not about what comes out of your mouth or your backside. The last thing you need to be worried about while pushing a nine-pound human out of your butt is offending someone.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous frectis said...

My mom would've smacked me in the middle of labor for saying it hurted ;) The F word is something I hear quite regularly in labor as a midwife, surrounded by otherwise good English structure, LOL.

9:41 PM  
Blogger NeoNurseChic said...

Ha....I've actually only ever seen 2 deliveries. In the vag delivery, the mom's epidural was so strong that I'll never forget the mom's face as she puzzled over why she didn't feel a thing. The other was a section, and she didn't have any pain with that, either. However, I can only imagine the things people say/shout/etc.

I recently was told of a mother whom, once the baby was born and on the warmer already, called the baby a "mother f*****". This upset everyone. It wasn't as if she yelled it during labor. That would have probably been a bit more understandable, even though it still isn't something I'd want to hear while someone was delivering a baby - to refer to him that way! But, it was sooooo much worse hearing that a mom referred to her newborn that way - AFTER he was out!! Sheesh....

I sometimes have to stop myself from using certain words while at work. Sure the babies don't know, but I still don't think it's appropriate!! Whenever my dad tells me to watch my language, I tell him I learned it from him... ;)

Do you have a large amount of parents who say, "He woke?" meaning, "Is he awake?" when referring to the baby? That one kills me.... Now that I've heard it so much, I know what it means, but where did that expression come from? I know there are others, but I'll have to think of them!

11:21 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

oh the things we hear (and see) in the delivery room.
my favorite was the family taking crotch shots of mom pushing with their camera phones. when the baby finally appeared it seemed that no one had any memory left to take a picture of the baby. i can be a wee bit sarcastic and this time was one of those times where i slipped. i suggested maybe they should erase some of the crotch shots to make room for baby.
just popping in to say hello. not sure how i wandered in but i did. i am a nicu rn and also a mom to a micropreemie. my youngest is an ex 24 weeker.
i like and can relate to your stories.

12:41 AM  
Blogger Marcia said...

Funny stuff.

Yes, neonurse, I also hear the "he woke" usage, as in, "Antoine, you woke?" said while simultaneously banging on the isolette.

Another classic is the statement made by the mother of a premie, who, after hearing the whole explanation of the radiant warmer, the monitors, and the prognosis, had one question.

It was, "Why he red?"

8:18 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I have quite the potty mouth at times *blush* but was amazingly restrained during both of my deliveries. Although I did drop the F-bomb after delivering my first daughter, all 9lb 4oz's. The bp cuff had inflated during the last set of pushes and stayed inflated on my left arm, cutting off circulation and hurting like hell. As soon as she made her appearance, I watched them suction her and rush her to the warming table. A maternal rush and private moment of accomplishment. :)

Then I turned and yelled, "Get that f**king cuff off of me!". I swear my lower arm was blue by then.

8:38 PM  
Blogger neonataldoc said...

Thanks, all. I had to laugh at a lot of your comments. I shouldn't be too hard on people for what they say during deliveries, because it is quite an extreme moment. Also, I've discovered a grammatical error in my post, so who am I to talk?

Welcome aboard, Laura.

8:45 PM  

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