Been out of touch with Blogworld for a while. Was out of town, where there was not much Internet time. Have only just caught up with all the blogs I follow. I didn't want to post till I'd read all the posts of my blog friends that I missed.
Well, during the time I went missing, some exciting things have happened:-- I got to see the birth of a baby! This was a first for me. Though I have been to the hospital with a to-be mother, have helped with baby-sitting new borns, I have never witnessed a birth. My own daughter had to have a Ceasarean.
In India, normally there are no private labour rooms. It's only in the very recent past, that upper-end private hospitals have started having such rooms. In a usual hospital, in the labour room there would usually be more than one woman giving birth. I remember that when I had my babies, especially my eldest, there were atleast 5 or 6 women having their babies at the same time, in cubicles on either side of me. So it was just not done to have anyone with you during the final stage of labour.
In the generation previous to mine though, women just had children at home, with a midwife, and in later days maybe a lady doctor, to help. For example my mother-in-law had 7 of her 8 kids at home and my own mother delivered my elder 2 siblings at her parents' home. But when hospitals became the norm for delivery, under Indian conditions of the time--many babies being born, far more infectons around than now--there was no way any lay person could be allowed into a labour room.
But whatever the situation, men were strictly excluded, unless the man in question was the doctor. But now with all the reading of books from the West on birth and how the husband is allowed to witness the birth, more and more young Indian women are asking for their husbands to be allowed in to the labour rooms, as well as a close female relative. So the young father-to-be and I were in the room. But dad-to-be kept to a corner, well out of the way, till the baby was with the pediatrician and he was given permission to go see his son.
Anyway, so I got to see the little baby come out into our world and laid on his mother, after which he was taken away to be cleaned up and his stats looked at. I didn't really see much of the gore as I was holding the young mum's hand.
To me the experience was much like when I used to go cheer my daughter and friends when they ran marathons (11and1/2 kms) in school. When they flagged towards the end, one would cheer, "Come on, come on, you can do it, just a bit more, hang in there!" Even the words I used was about the same :). It was an exhilarating, though somewhat exhausting experience! But I wouldn't have missed it for the world.