Obstetrician On Call

Obstetrician On Call

Growing up, doctors were portrayed as people who could be called away for emergencies at any time. In fact, I remember in a Nigerian movie I watched growing up, the groom was called away on his wedding night.

As a Senior Registrar in Family Medicine, I can’t relate with that. I stopped taking 24hr calls after passing my Part 1 exams, it was one of the perks of becoming a Senior Registrar.

But for Obstetricians, the story is not the same, both the Registrar and Senior Registrar sleep in during calls and even the Consultant is only a call away from joining in the vigil.

As an Obstetrician, you are a boys’ scout, you have to be ready always, because you are never far from the operating room. So I have to assume that movie character who was called away on his wedding night was an Obstetrician. And he probably had a private practice where he was the only one on ground.

Today was supposed to be for grand rounds, but I ended up in the theatre. A woman came in with footling breech in labour and had to have a caesarean delivery. The Obstetrician I scrubbed in with also did not plan to operate that day but we found ourselves there.

The operating room vibe is story for another day but the difficulty we encountered is what I want to talk about.

Because the woman was in labour already, the fetus had descended into the pelvis, so when we opened up, it was the arms we had easy access to, the legs which we should deliver first were further down in the birth canal.

After a couple of unsuccessful attempts at reaching for the legs, at least one of them, the midwife had to push the presenting leg up from below so the Obstetrician could grasp the leg. Once we caught that one leg, the balls followed, then the other leg, the torso and the head. Whewww!

Everyone then breathed a sigh of relief because it was a tough couple of seconds. And all the while, being perhaps the only passer-by in that operating room, what was going through my mind was ‘which kain wahala’.

But then we got through it. It took us more time to close up because there was a lateral extension of the incision we made on the uterus, but we got through.

And the turn of events reinforced the thought that had been spinning in my head all week. There’s no point in making it a habit to be in constant fear of difficulties because, if you do the right things, you’ll get through them.

So next time we encounter any other difficulty in the operating room now, instead of saying which kain wahala, I know to say “we’ll get through this too!”

Let me go and prepare for my 24hrs call in two days. Oh! I forgot to add that now that I am in Rome, I am behaving like the Romans and taking night calls, but again, I’ll get through it.

Talk soon,


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Comments (2)

  • Lummy Reply

    Interesting read. I enjoyed it.

    May 22, 2022 at 1:29 pm
  • Temitope Oyetunji Reply

    Thanks a lot for the feedback

    May 22, 2022 at 5:44 pm

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