Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Another birth, another death...

My DD loves the Lion King's soundtrack. Listens to it almost daily. What chokes me up is the opening song, Circle of Life (as sung in the movie not Elton John's version).

Every new infant who falls into my hands will eventually die. It is a fact of life. Some are dead when I first touch them, their grieving parents never to hear them cry, but instead are crying themselves. My most recent stillbirth, the mother brought in the child's baby book for me to look through during her postpartum visit. The only people smiling in the pictures are the nurses and me.

Some never even make it to that stage, instead the mother passes what we call POC's, never even acknowledging the fact that this is someone's baby. These parents grieve deeply as well.

There isn't anything taught on handling these situations in med school or residency. So we flop through, trying to say the right things. I cry with them, hug them, pass the Kleenex. They seem to appreciate it, but I'm still not sure it helps.

Then I go home and kiss E&R.
ER's Mom

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