26 Dec

The week before finals, I enjoyed a pretty unique kind of study break.  Whereas I normally like to let my brain vegetate to the latest youtube craze (like the Maccabeats, ridiculously adorable children, and ninja cats) or–do I dare admit it?–old Grey’s Anatomy shows on Hulu, the Ob/Gyn Interest Group-sponsored “Watch-A-Birth” was kind of the antithesis of mind-numbing. 

At 6pm on a Sunday, I showed up to the HUP delivery unit in scrubs and with my hospital ID (it’s amazing how much access that thing gives me), and was promptly greeted by a hurried nurse: “You’re here to watch a birth?  Get in room 2.”  I probably could have just followed the piercing screams.  Within twenty minutes, I was rushed into room 10 to see a second birth.  Although both were relatively uneventful vaginal deliveries, the climates in the two rooms were markedly different.  Room 2 made me feel like I was walking into a party: first birth; mothers, sisters, cousins all in the room cheering (for both the new mother and their respective football teams playing that evening); lots and lots of noise.  Room 10 was the mother’s fourth child; no one other than hospital staff and me was in the room; she didn’t make a sound throughout the entire delivery.  I held her hand and felt a little sheepish when, at the end, she turned to me and whispered, “thank you,” the only thing I heard her say in the 15-20 minutes I spent with her.


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