Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Business of Being Born


I'm following along with my cousin's induction at a distance. She was excited to go into the hospital yesterday, but I knew all too well what a nightmare inductions from 0 dilation can be. I've been following along, step by step, and now, more than 24 hours into her induction, she is finally getting into a more active labor pattern (wouldn't call her being in active labor yet!).

When she and her mother began to get discouraged when she was 1cm after 12 hours of misoprostol, I assured her that I had managed some women who were inducing over the course of 4 days (I didn't include that some of these women were so tired by the end that they opted for c-section).

To which her mother, my cousin, said, "They were in labor for 4 days?"

To which I answered, "Yes and no." Putting misoprostol in the cervix is not the start of labor. The start of labor is regular, painful contractions and cervical change. So some of those women were not even in latent labor for more than 24 hours after the first cervical maturing agents were given.

My poor cousin, who did a lot of talk on Facebook and elsewhere about her moment, how no one was going to ruin it or force her to take medications...asked for an epidural after the first hour of contractions at 2cm dilated.

Can't say I didn't see that coming...but anyway.

When my time comes in the next 5 years insha'Allah, I will not turn my nose up at an epidural, I'll say that right now! It'll be nice to try natural, but I'm for safe delivery of babies first, and I'm not sure I'd tolerate a foley balloon, either.

Anyway, all of this bustle around the third great-great-grandbaby of my grandparents (my cousin's first granddaughter, my newest first cousin twice removed, hehe) has gotten me excited about my own childbearing prospects.

So I'm just going to say it, categorically, once and for all.

I love babies. I love babies, always have, always have wanted more than I'll perhaps be able to handle, and always looked forward to the day of being a mommy. And ever since the first time that I witnessed childbirth, I've wanted to experience that as well. Yes, the moment that make most women cringe as they watch the head pop out of the introitus, sometimes destroying the perineum in its wake and gushing forth with blood and poop made me say...I want to do that!

I'm continuously bitten by the bug of seeing women around me pregnant and birthing babies. From one of my attendings, one of the former residents of my program, who had glamor shots after she had a successful vaginal delivery of her 6 pound beauty, to my co-resident who recently went to c-section to deliver her surprisingly plump 12-pounder. From the plans of one of my attendings to conceive in the next year to the current 21 week pregnancy of one of my classmate's wives. Not to mention the oodles and oodles of babies my med school classmates have been having.

I can wait my turn!

That is not a typo, haha. I certainly can wait my turn, but it doesn't make me any less excited! I don't feel any less privileged to take part in the birthing process for all of the families that I've delivered, even as that number builds up. Every time I get to deliver a baby is still exciting, though in different ways than it was initially as I build up experience. But I've seen enough people on the other side of things to know that starting a family is no joke in a way I cannot appreciate until I'm there.

So I'll just keep training for now, work on getting married first, and then will make an actual five-year plan...

In the meantime, my cousin just dilated to 5. I have to go to work in an hour in which I will be managing our maternal child service in the afternoon. So I'll be surrounded by all things baby soon enough. For now, this morning, I have to focus on my medicine patients.

But, rest assured, I've been excited about having my own children for years now. I think about having my own children seriously every day, from what they'll look like (with my current SO as the combination) to what I'll name...the girls. Boys names are tough for me.

And having experienced, through friends and patients, the joys and traumas of the conception process, from miscarriages in the second trimester, fetal demises in the third trimester, preterm deliveries, complications, and infertility...I'm ready for parenthood in any form, whether they are my own children or whether I am adopting. Insha'Allah, I'm ready... wait!


  1. funny I was talking to a colleague about kids yesterday... she doesn't want them. I do, but unlike you (which is amazing since you've witnessed them all the time), the pain factor scares me. Then again, I guess it becomes natural for you? At any rate, I wish your cousin a sage delivery!

    1. C-section, but it was good. Healthy mom and healthy baby. can get an epidural if you deliver in the US. But pain, yes, I'm afraid of that, too, especially the famed "ring of fire." When it comes my time, I want to try to go natural, but I'm also not too proud to know that I will pull the trigger on an epidural if I can't breathe through the contractions.