I spent three hours with her on Wednesday. I held her hand, rubbed her back and reminded her to take deep breaths. Three hours later, it was over. She had made it through. She delivered a beautiful, healthy baby boy. No epidural, no intervention, just like she wanted.
In those hours, I was energized by the bonds that formed between her and those of us in her support team. I was awed by her strength and perseverance in face of this challenge.
I am no less awed by the women I see who face other challenging situations–a grave diagnosis, a baby with birth defects, an unwanted pregnancy, an unhealthy pregnancy.
I am an obstetrician gynecologist. I provide information, support, guidance, reassurance and expertise. Sometimes I provide back rubs and hugs. I always provide respect. Respect for her circumstances, for her perspective, for her decision making, for her choice.
I spent three hours with her on Thursday night. I held her hand, chatted about her family, reminded her to eat and to get some rest. Five hours later, it was over. She made it through. She delivered her son–stillborn as a result of his chromosomes which we knew would shorten his life. She chose not to end her pregnancy when she learned the news and stayed pregnant to 39 weeks, just like she wanted.
I was privileged to be there with her during this challenge. I was awed by her strength and her faith as she grew and birthed this child she knew she would not take home.
Pregnancy puts women in complicated, sometimes difficult circumstances. Sometimes these end in great joy, sometimes in great sorrow. I am certain I only ever know a fraction of an individual woman’s emotional, physical, familial, financial and psychological context. I guide, support, inform, advise, hug and respect. I trust her to choose. #Roe43 #trustwomen