Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hark! A Child Cries in the Distance!

I love going into the maternity hospital for work.

Ireland was apparently the first country in the world to have one. Every day I have to dodge new dads in the parking lot trying to juggle car seats and flowers, handbags, suitcases, and "IT'S A BOY!!" helium balloons. Women (mostly waddle) around in various brightly colored bathrobes, either trying to break up the boredom of being admitted, or in the hopes of getting things going in the labor department. Giant bellies, little bumps, nervous nulltips, exasperated over-termers populate the antenatal clinics. It's quite the humming baby factory.

On the labor ward every couple of hours a new admission would walk casually up to the desk with a mix of fear, sometimes excitement, expressions of pain, or lines of fatigue on her face. While being checked in some would have to pause and lean heavily on the nursing station if a contraction took over. Others went shooting by in a wheelchair pushed by an admissions midwife, hair blowing back behind them with the "don't push yet!!!" instruction barked by a senior midwife...a few minutes later we'd hear some hollering followed by the gusty cry of a new arrival to the planet. I could just smile to myself because at that moment only infinite possibilities exist for that baby.

Of course, of course we've seen sad outcomes, unexpected premature deliveries, undiagnosed syndromes and malformations. But even those, which weigh heavily on the staff, give me inspiration from the grace and strength exhibited by the families of those babies.

What a place! What a privilege.

4 comments:

Crazy RxMan said...

I'm jealous.

Anne said...

Loved reading this.
Thank you.

Jill said...

You are blessed to be able to experience that on a daily basis.

Just Me said...

You HAVE to go to Jamica and deliver babies! We learned to ask if we had time to admit them. We had one woman who we were admitting asking her if she wanted to sit down, but she refused. Turns out she was calmly talking while crowning!