“After I helped deliver that first baby, I did something out of character. I called up my mom and talked to her”
My work in the delivery room began not out of choice but out of my superior’s adamant stand that whether man or woman, you had to know everything. That’s how I entered the delivery room. This was about seven years ago.
My first interaction was with a wailing woman who had been wheeled in for childbirth. She was in pain but the moment she saw me, she stopped and told her doctor that she would not like to give birth to her child in the presence of a male. The senior doctor held her hand and told her that she must only concentrate on her baby.
My God, women, even when in pain, can be so obstinate. There was no way I could be wished away as I was part of the team that was to deliver her baby. We concentrated on delivering her baby.
It was a girl. She was covered in blood and everything else. It was overwhelming, but not one bit beautiful. A female nurse and I helped the doctor clean the baby. I have read about childbirth in books, but nothing prepares you for that first sight.
After I helped deliver that first baby, I did something out of character. I called up my mom and talked to her.
During the shift, many children are born. Despite the pain and fatigue of childbirth, every new mother’s face lights up when she gets that first glimpse of her child.
I have seen even doctors who have delivered babies for decades going through anxiety pangs during the process. Nothing must go wrong and two lives are in our hands. I have done it all—cleaning, cutting umbilical cords, helping the woman on the delivery table go through her breathing motions, etcetera. And now I want out. I have done my bit.
(He is a junior doctor in the gynaecology and obstetrics department of a reputed state-run hospital)