“Don’t EVER let them see you cry. Not the attendings, and NEVER the nurses.....This will make you look weak and they will walk all over you.” This is what my chief resident told me on my first night of call as an OB/GYN intern 7 years ago today. She meant well, but since she was the main person inducing my tears, I mainly just found her to be mean. I grew to respect her as the year went passed. I’ve thought of her advice many times since, but I never learned to control my tears.
I cried when I was 24 weeks pregnant and had to deliver a patient at 24 weeks, then later pronounce its time of death.
I cried my first day back from maternity leave. The first shift was a nasty call as a 3rd year resident. I didn’t get to see my baby for 36 hours. Luckily, a wise attending pulled me aside and told me she had cried too with each baby. That it would get easier, and it did. I held him and cried for an hour when I got home that next day.
I cried when my son was 2 months old and diagnosed with an autosomal recessive genetic disorder. I was told he would be blind (he’s not) and I should not have more children (I haven’t). I was on call that night after the doctor's visit. I did 3 ectopics. I cried through each one.
I cried once when my vacation got cancelled as an intern (that one, of course, is a pretty lame reason).
I always cry when I watch girl movies.
I still shed a tear when the dad cries at delivery. (anyone else?)
I cried tears of relief when I passed my oral boards.
I cried when I had to tell a friend/patient she had yet another missed AB.
I cried when Charlie died (on Lost).
I cried on my last day of my OB/GYN rotation as a med student. I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it and how much I would miss the service. I realized then, that despite being president of the family practice club, I had a new calling. The most amazingly wonderful job in the world. So, sorry Chief, I have let them see me cry. I‘m not weak. I just still have a heart.
-An OB/GYN in Nashville.