An awesome day

Today I got to welcome these lovely baby girls into the world.  As part of my hospital rotation, I spent a couple of hours in the maternity ward.  Some women were quietly laboring on their bed, while others were pacing the hospital corridors moaning in pain.  In the meantime a select few were being prepped for delivery.  The ward was staffed with one tough as nails labor and delivery nurse, and four 3rd year medical students who had never delivered a baby before.  Since I was only a visitor in the spectacle, I sat back and asked silly questions that seemed relevant to the situation.  I asked how many centimeters a woman was dilated, or if epidurals were common practice (epidurals are only provided for C-Sections).  Two women, who were at about eight centimeters dilated were writhing on their beds calling out for Jesus to deliver them from their agony.  Since the young doctors seemed just as shell-shocked as me, I ventured to ask the nurse if I may assist.  Unceremoniously she threw me a surgical gown, and showed me how to hold back the woman’s leg.  The other leg was being held by one of the other medical interns.  While I am not proficient in Acholi, I tried to communicate with the laboring woman with eye contact, and head nods.  During the worst of it, she appeared to be having an out of body experience (of pain), while crushing my hand in hers.  It was the most intense intimate experience I have ever had without verbal exchange.  Within twenty tense minutes, she delivered a healthy baby girl.  We didn’t have much time to marvel in the miracle of birth, because baby number two was well on its way.  While a team stayed back to patch up mother number one, our tough as nails labor and delivery nurse barked at 2 of us to resume our position next to the second mother.  Her pain seemed just overwhelming.  She was however determined to get it over with.  In less than fifteen minutes she had delivered her healthy baby girl.

Once the babies were weighed, swaddled and handed over to the mothers, I congratulated the team of newbies. From their facial expression, I assumed that none of them will be returning to gynecology as their specialty.  If I could do if over again though, I think delivering babies would be one of the most fascinating jobs in the world.