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The Name Game

My daughter, Clara, turned seven on Monday. Tomorrow we host a birthday party for friends and family. 

I was telling Clara stories about the day she was born, and this story came to mind, which I wrote about at the time (to Clara) and thought I would share here.

It’s a testament to my wife’s ability to remain cool under pressure.

During labor, many people were in and out of our room. Nurses and doctors surrounded the bed, constantly introducing themselves and stating their positions.

“Hi, I’m Doctor Smith, the attending on tonight.”

“Hello, I’m Doctor Jones. I’ll be administering your epidural.”

“I’m Doctor Andrews. I’m here to turn down your epidural.”

“I’m Doc Simpson. I’m here to look at your vagina.”

Most remarkably, your mom seemed to keep track of all these people amidst all the contractions and pushing. At one point a doctor introduced herself to us, consulted with another doctor, checked in with a couple nurses, and then turned to leave just as your mother began pushing again. But before she did, she took a moment to look up and say goodbye to the doctor, addressing her by her name.

Katherine, our nurse, turned to me and said, “How can she possibly remember all these people’s names?”

A few minutes later, Katherine asked a nurse to arrange for “Petey” to come down to our room. Considering every other person in the room had been introduced either with their title of doctor or by their first name in the case of the two female nurses, the thought of some guy named Pete, who apparently insisted on being called by his first name, coming to the room alarmed your mother.

“Wait a minute,” she said. “Whose Petey?”

“Not Petey, a person,” Katherine explained. “Pediatrics. They’ll need to be here at the delivery.”

Half naked, contracting and pushing, your mother was still on the top of her game.