Mullberry Whine

poured out before bed

The First Time

The Child’s Bath, 1893, Mary Cassat…

The nurse hands me a patient rooming sheet with a smile.

“Last patient, Ms. Mullberry,” she sings, settling into her creaky computer chair and typing furiously.  “Then it’s home, home, home for the weekend!”  She spins in her chair and fist bumps me with gusto.

love working with the staff at this clinic.

High on fist bump, I hum a little as I search for the patient in the E-chart system.  I find no records.

“Is Ms. Jones new?” I ask the resident.  Without missing a key-stroke in the typing of his note on our last patient, my resident surveys the name and nods.

“Must be her first prenatal visit.  You go on in and get her history and we’ll talk about her then.”

I’m still humming as I knock on the exam room door and enter.  A heavily pregnant 20-something sits pensively in the chair.

“Hello, Ms. Jones, I’m Mullberry, the medical student working with Dr. Bebe.  What can we do for you today?”  I offer my hand.

“Oh, I’m all good.  I need you to look at my girl,” she takes my hand and points behind me to the exam table where a very small, very pregnant young lady is seated.

This little Ms. Jones is 13 years old and, by their reckoning, is about 9 months pregnant.  She’s been having contractions over the past 5 hours that she can barely breathe through.  Her mother is 26, pregnant with her fifth child, and she figures about 7 months along.  This is the first time they have sought care.

I quickly gather a pertinent history from the youngest Jones, bringing her tissues as she sniffles through her contractions, then hoof it back to the staff room where I present speedily to the resident.  The nurse in her squeaky chair sighs a little as I finish up, drops her bag, and begins to ready admit orders for the resident.  A sterile cervical exam reveals 5cm dilation, 80% effacement, and  +1 station, and Ms. Jones’ water breaks as we sit her up on the exam table.  But little Ms. Jones does not smile when we offer that she’s half way there.

“This is my first time,” she sobs.  “What do I do?!”

“We’ll take care of you, Ms. Jones,” the resident reassures her as I page the labor and delivery floor.

Back in the staff room I thank the nurse for getting everything ready for her admit.

“Oh, this isn’t the first time such a thing has happened,” she sighs.  “And it won’t be the last.”


Step 2 CK Throw Back, from Obstetrics


10 comments on “The First Time

  1. Amy
    October 24, 2012

    It’s situations like this that will continue to cause me sorrow for the world. How people can live like this baffles me. *sigh*

    • mullberrywhine
      October 24, 2012

      It makes one feel a bit low doesn’t it? And lucky… There but for the grace of God go we…

  2. kindredspirit23
    October 24, 2012

    I never know whether to scream or die of shock. When I was in a night college class in the 70s, one woman in the class was ecstatic because her 13 year old was pregnant so they would be getting more money from the government.

  3. on thehomefrontandbeyond
    October 24, 2012

    13! I did not even know where things were at 13) – I was a particularly naive girl– maybe this little girl didn’t know where things were either — I hope she can get some childhood back, but it looks like she already lost it

    • mullberrywhine
      October 24, 2012

      I’m afraid it’s quite gone. I hope she finds strength – and joy – in her adulthood.

  4. Kate
    October 24, 2012

    Bless their hearts! I just don’t know what to say to something like this. I hope both mothers (and new little baby) are all okay.

    • mullberrywhine
      October 24, 2012

      Such a tough situation – I hope they can use adversity to fuel something wonderful…

  5. njatha
    November 23, 2012

    Reblogged this on samuel njatha and commented:

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House Rules

Creative Commons License
Nothing under the table.
The views expressed on "Mullberry Whine" are NOT intended to diagnose or treat disease.
The med-ed related stories described here are based on real events. Details have been changed in accordance with HIPAA de-identification guidelines to protect confidentiality.
Mullberry Whine can be enjoyed daily; there is no unsafe quantity. Real wine, though, should be enjoyed in moderation. At-Risk Drinking for males under 65 is defined as >14 alcoholic beverages per week or >4/day, with >7 drinks a week or >3/day being the cut-off for females under 65 and for anyone, male or female, who has graced this planet for 65 years for more. Drink Mullberry Whine like there are no consequences. But drink alcohol responsibly. Your friends, your family, your health-care provider, and your liver - heck, ALL of the organs in your body - will thank you.
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