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My First Delivery

“Fuerte, fuerte, FUERTE!” After a few minutes of coaching the mother, a new life had, quite literally, fallen into my hands.

Ready to take part in a C-section at 3:00 am.

I have no idea what his birth weight was. Or where he’ll live. Or what he’ll become 10… 20… 50 years from now. But what I do know is that during the first seconds of his life outside the womb, I played a role in his care. 馃檪

Truth be told, for my first vaginal delivery, I was pretty scared – not of the actual process or what I would see in terms of blood, amniotic fluid, placenta, and lots (and I do mean lots, in this case) of meconium. We had covered the cardinal movements of labor already and practiced deliveries on plastic models, but when thrown into real life, my primary concern went back to the Hippocratic oath – primum non nocere (“above all, do no harm”).

I was so concerned of harming the baby. Am I grabbing his head too tightly? Am I wounding the umbilical cord incorrectly? Or in a more general sense… am I causing pain in any way to the mother or baby? In reality, this is a common sentiment shared by medical students, and to compensate, we underestimate the baby’s resilience during delivery. These “bundles of joy” are built to take on the stress of exiting the pelvis, so man up. Oh yeah, and hold on tight… they can sure be slippery! 馃槸

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