It’s true – you never forget your first time

I remember a lot of “firsts” in my life, both good and bad- my first crush in 2nd grade, my first dog, Jerry, the first time I upset my father to the point that he would not even speak! (THAT was scary because he is always one to lecture), my first kiss, well… you get the point… yes, many “first” memories. And now I have the privilege to add a new one as a PA student: watching my first uncomplicated vaginal delivery.

It happened on my first day on the job at my ob-gyn rotation. We got a call around 11:25 and ran across the street to the hospital. My heart was racing and my nerves were on edge. I thought “This is about to happen. I am going to witness a baby’s head coming out of a vagina… OUCH.” Oh my goodness… I didn’t know if I was prepared to see it, but I was excited.

We arrived to a room of controlled chaos. The patient was a yelling G3P2 un-anesthetized woman in obvious pain. Her husband, beside her and facing the opposite direction of the action, was pale and in a zombie-like trance. There was no way he was cutting the cord since all he could do was stand straight. And then there was me, an emotionally naïve novice who did not know what her role was in all of this so I just stood there and watched. I was on the verge of tears as I saw the baby take his first breath. The baby was crying, mom was relieved, her husband was about to throw up, and I was teary-eyed and smiling. I cut the umbilical cord and was amazed to see the placenta with its three little vessels that nourished this baby from day 1. In in my eyes the experience was awesome and it was my first and there is no way I’ll ever forget it.

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About the Author

I moved from LA to Portland in June 2010 for the PA Program. I am currently a 2nd year PA student in my clinical year where I am taking advantage of opportunities to learn about medicine and the role of a PA in the real world.



Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

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