Wednesday, March 24, 2010

perspective from the delivery room

A 16 year old becoming a mom.

A 34 year old mom with a history of cardiac disease enduring labor with a heart that doesn't function fully.

A 28 year old mother of 2, weary from 2 days of labor, ended up having an emergency c/section, pulls herself out of bed 6 hours after surgery to see her premature baby in the neonatal intensive care unit.

A husband with fear all over his face, watches as his wife becomes a mother. Then together they touch their new baby daughter, and in an instant all the fear and pain is gone.

A 20 year old pregnant women, who comes to the hospital every 3 days with a new symptom, desperately wanting to be admitted so she doesn't have to be alone at home.

A 2 hour old baby in the newborn nursery all alone, because his mom is doesn't want to hold him.

A doctor, a pilot, a mechanic, and a sandwich maker, all first time dads, all cry the first time they see their newborn. Each hand becomes shakey as they take the scissors from the physician to "cut the cord".

My job gives me perspective.

I wish I could have a camera with me.

I wish you could see how tight a man holds his wife's hand as she pushes through contractions.
I wish you could see the determination in the woman's face right before her baby arrives.
I wish you could see the big sister as she peeks over the bed to kiss her baby brother.
I wish you could see the newborn turn his head to hear his dad's voice for the first time.
I wish you could see the grandmother count her grand babies tiny fingers and toes.

It gives you some perspective.
I need that in my life.

I need it for times you don't want to see.

like the time, the mother left her infant in a trunk of a car, and pretended she didn't have a baby. For 6 hours. That baby survived.
like the time the prostitute had her baby in the toilet, came to the hospital and wasn't sure who the father was.
like the time the teenager came to the hospital, after attending a high school basketball game, had her baby, and then left her infant there, 4 hours after delivery. She never told her parents. She relinquished her rights as a mother.
Like the time I helped a 13 year old become a mother.
Like the time I held a women's hand after the 6th pregnancy ends in a loss. She still doesn't have a baby to hold.

My mind sometimes can not comprehend it all. My heart sometimes spills over.

For the most part I love what I do. The moment a family is born is Amazing.
Truly Amazing.

But sometimes it is heartbreaking.

Today the delivery room has given me some perspective. I needed it.

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