The pungent odour of iron permeates the fluorescent room. On a bed, in a sundry pool of vermilion blood , amniotic fluid and water lies a woman shouting histrionically for her saviour to put an end her miserable life.
“Push!”, the midwife orders. The woman half-heartedly complies but abandons her efforts after a few seconds. The atmosphere is tense. Every individual in the room awaits the next contraction with baited breath. When it arrives , the room is thrown back into motion.
“PUSH with all your might! “, the midwife demands. The woman writhes in pain and spews forth profanities and curses to the person who happens to be in her direct line of vision: me.
Her husband looks on in sympathy and apologises profusely for being the cause of this pain and misdirected anger. The grip on his hand tightens exceedingly along with more curses and profanities . His wife , at the command of the midwife, grips her thighs tightly and gives one last push with all the strength left in her exhausted body.
Suddenly the head of a little human being emerges , his little body follows soon after. Impassioned cries from this little human being , bemoaning his expulsion from his amniotic fluid filled heaven , echo in the room.The room suddenly erupts in cacophony of sound. The mother wails happily, the father proceeds to phone his entire contact list and the grandmother and aunt ululate joyously and take a multitude of pictures. .
The birth process is as scary as it is grizzly but so beautiful to watch is the mother’s transformation once her baby is in her arms . Gone are the expletives. Cue soft cooing and tears as she holds her bundle of joy in her arms . A remarkable transformation to say the least.
As part of our Obstetrics and Gynaecology rotation, we are expected to observe three vaginal deliveries during our holiday. My clinical partner and I thought we’d make our lives easier and attend a maternity hospital in the area.
We expected that babies would be born every five minutes and that we would be finished with our observations by midday the latest with our chosen hospital being a maternity hospital . We observed our first birth at 9 in the morning , the second at 4 in the afternoon and the third at 6 pm . I highly suspect that foetuses all over staged a petition against being born on the 9th of December 2015 !
The nursing sisters and midwives run the labour ward . The doctors were often nowhere to be seen except in case of complications. After our first observation , the nurses demanded that my partner and I assist instead of awkwardly standing around and looking perpetually gob-smacked .So we did vitals , drained catheters , learnt how to complete partograms correctly and honed our cardiotocograph interpretation skills.
The patients all presented with varied circumstances and complications . The first patient delivered at 33 weeks . The second was a primigravida who delivered at 40 weeks ! It was quite startling to see the meconium stained liquor .
The last patient had an IUD (Intra-uterine death) .It was her second 😩 She had to deliver her stillborn infant the same way you would a live baby. This was painful and incredibly heart-breaking to observe.
The nurses taught us a great deal and it was all in all a very valuable , albeit , taxing experience. The labour ward is definitely not for those faint at heart. I remain traumatised 😲 !
Lots of Lily Love (LOLL) ❤ ❤ ❤