"Are you sure you should ride that rollercoaster?"

Wanda Holderman: April 07, 20080 Comments

It was a reasonable question from my husband based on the fact that I was 6 months pregnant with #2 son and every rollercoaster ride we came had an obnoxiously visible sign that warned pregnant women not to ride. My nurse friend and I decided, "hey, that baby is in the best shock-absorber ever made, sure it's OK if I ride." (Confession-I escaped the rollercoaster "police" by wearing a bulky coat to hide the obvious).

Three months later.....I went into labor and we headed to the hospital for the miraculous event. My husband and I had not slept in three days as I was having false labor off and on during that time.....consequently, we were very tired and my husband especially so. In those days, the labor area was distinct from the delivery area, so when it was "time", they wheeled me into the delivery room and positioned my husband at my head so he could be there to encourage, support, and watch the baby being born. Very close to the actual delivery, the physician looked up to see my pale-faced husband trying with all his might to stay upright and see me through this, but it was apparent to the doctor that he was "woozy" and needed some fresh air.....the doctor summoned some hospital staff to assist my husband out of the room, and after he recovered was allowed to come back in. With only a few seconds left until the baby arrival, the doc again looked up to check out "hubby", and this time said to the staff "get him out of here, he's going down"......sure enough, he took about two steps and down he went. The staff had to drag him out of the room with toes upward and plop him into the chair back in the "labor room".

He sat there wondering all kinds of things but most prevalent was, "will our (son) come out with his head on backwards because Wanda rode that crazy rollercoaster three months ago?!" Poor guy, he didn't get to see #1 son being born either because at the last minute, the nurse bumped the mirror and blocked the big event. Now, he was sitting there all by his lonesome (and me not knowing as I was a little consumed at the moment) wondering how things would turn out. He heard a cry and one of the staff rushed in to tell him, "It's a boy, and everything's where it should be!"

I look back on that rollercoaster adventure and think, "whoa, that was down-right stupid and crazy. I should have never done that!" But, I'm glad to report that after 29 years, number 2 son "appears" OK, loves the most outrageous amusement park rides, and we have laughed many times about the memory.

In our work setting, when there is a warning posted, guidelines to follow, or instructions to adhere to, please don't rationalize a work-around or a justification for not following sound principles....it could turn out "OK", but then again, it's not worth the risk. When someone's challenging you and asking you "should you be doing that?", take heed, and avoid disregarding good advice.