Sunday, 21 December 2008

Babies and personality

Early morning, the other day I was called out to the pregnant ladies' ward ...

The ward was dark and full of heavily pregnant women, wishing they could have their babies before Christmas. They were sitting up in their beds, segregated in their cubicles with curtains drawn all around them. Some had their bedlights on, but breaking the complete silence was the resounding repetitive sound of baby heart sounds from baby heart monitors attached to women's tums.

The little people, still safely kicking in their mothers' wombs, seemed to be competing with each other and the overlapping loud and rhythmic heart sounds made for a good rock beat, a very reassuring sound which ironically added to the peaceful harmony in the ward.

Trouble only ensues, when the beat slows down to that of an adult heart rate...thats when the the woman is asked to turn on her side, emergency buzzers are pulled and all hell breaks lose.

Another reassuring sound is that of a newborn crying. I am sure young parents come close to tearing their hair, when trying to figure out why the baby is crying. But my heart remains in a contracted state unable to breathe, after I have carried out an operative delivery, until I hear either a vigorous "what the hell do you think you are doing?" cry or even a reluctant, "Do I have to breathe?" kind of a cry.

That is probably one of the reasons, why I dont find water births physiological. God created babies to come into this world, fill their lungs and let out a wail...not be born under water like fishes or whales to swim alongside their mums...

After I have used a suction cup on the baby's head and I must admit, quite uncermoniously, pulled the poor thing out, I am usually busy trying to stitch things up at the bottom end, while the dad and mum hug each other, amidst tears of joy and relief.

Then, either the loyalist dad refuses to leave the mum's side until urged by the mum herself, to find out how the baby is doing, or in the more likely event, the dad is ready with his camera and follows the baby out to the baby's first consultation with the baby doctor.

But usually, when the baby comes back to the delivery room, he or she has a complaining wail, which is intermittent and to my guilty mind, it sounds like the baby is saying to the parents -" Yes, my head hurts, its that doctor in the green suit, she is awful, wonder what she had for lunch today, she really hurt me, what on earth are you thanking her for?...I am sure we would have been fine without her..." and so on.

I will never know what the baby is saying to the parents but I do wonder...I usually do personally say sorry to His/Her Highness...and am greeted by a "Go away!" cry or worse "who are you?" look. Newborns have personality, I tell you!

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