December 15, 2014

medicine | unto you a child is born

It seems fitting to tell this story now, around Christmas, the world's biggest birthday celebration.
I came in to see one of my patients after she had a cesarean delivery after coming into the hospital in labor overnight.   I had spoken with her the day before in the office and she was very scared for a cesarean delivery and very much wanted a vaginal delivery, so I was curious about how the experience was for her.  She says, "They laid me down in the operating room. It was cold.  My husband was not there yet. They exposed my belly and put soap on me, then they put a big blue sheet up in front of my face.  Then they called my husband into the room.  I was scared.  But then I breathed in deep and tried to pray.  As soon as I started praying I realized my hands (out on the arm boards beside her) were like Jesus.  My position was the same as Jesus on the cross.  When I realized this, I relaxed and was happy.  The rest was fine.  My daughter is beautiful and my scar is small."

She was right, I realized.  It is the exact position of the image of Jesus on the cross.  A position symbolizing sacrifice.  In this case, sacrificing her ideas of how she thought labor and delivery were going to be for a healthy, happy daughter.

worth it.

"Real magic can never be made by offering someone else's liver.  
You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back" 
- Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

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