Aida Zabidi
The labour room is exhausting at times.

At my hospital, we do an average of thirty to forty deliveries a day, and that's an average day. It seems that we Malaysians are a productive lot indeed.

The first time I delivered a baby, I had to hold back tears. There's something about bringing life into the world that becomes very emotional for me - but you can't exactly have your doctor bursting into tears every time she delivers your baby. Every now and then, I do a delivery that becomes very personal; sometimes because I admire the strength of the mother during the labour, sometimes because we are racing against time for a normal delivery, sometimes because I've connected so much with the mother that it becomes a personal mission of sorts to ensure that the baby is delivered in the best way possible.

There are many patients who find the pain unbearable.

Those are not my favourite patients.
Yes, childbirth is painful. However, we have given you enough pain relief that it should numb the edge somewhat - and being in pain does not mean you have to throw yourself side to side on the bed until you exhaust yourself of your energy, and lose the will and energy to push when its truly needed. Labour is an exhaustive process and there are too many times when patients exhaust themselves even before when it is time to push, and that is dangerous for their child.

I walked into a patient like that today.

She was in a lot of pain. Her cervix was effaced, but wasn't fully open, but she would be delivering soon - my estimate was an hour.

However, she was moaning in pain, trashing around side to side on the bed. I immediately pegged her as one of those dramatic types, sighing as I expected the delivery to be prolonged. The look on my staff nurse's face probably mirrored mine.

I wasn't that far off.

She complained of the pain all through the hour. She seemed almost driven mad, despite my telling her to calm down. I anticipated the delivery to be long and painful, from her attitude. At the peak of her pain, I sat her down and told her to listen to me.

I told her exactly what to do and how to push. I told her to use her pain to push out her baby, and that it would be important to keep the push going right through the contractions. I told her what we were doing and why, and why she should conserve her energy throughout the process so she could focus it entirely on the labour.

She amazed me.

When push came to shove, she was quiet and focused and dedicated. She had listened to everything I said, and more, she responded to all the encouragement we gave, and adjusted according to our instructions. She progressed well throughout the labour and didn't even complain one single bit. '

I was secretly proud of her willpower.

Sometimes, you can never judge a book too quickly. Sometimes when it comes to those critical moments, you never know how you can find that inner strength to overcome your limits, and push through the pain towards your goal.

I respect women in labour. It is no small feat to deliver babies, despite it being an occurence that happens so commonly, but it is not as easy as it seems.

I often learn things from my patients. And I am thankful for that.

I can only hope when the time comes, I too can find that reserve inner strength to push through my pain.

2 Responses
  1. dianaroslam Says:

    Babe, can you come in the room with me and help me through mine next year? :P

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