It was a grim morning in early 2009.
The New Year did not begin on a happy note.
We received the sad news that my pregnancy was in trouble. I had developed a pregnancy-induced life-threatening condition. While nothing could be done to save my baby, modern medicine had the means to save my life. I am eternally grateful to modern medicine for this gift of life.
Letting the baby go felt agonising in every sense of the word.
The process of labour was scary enough. If I had had a baby in my arms at the end of it, all that pain may have been worthwhile.
But going through the hardship of labour, knowing fully well the baby was not going to make it felt tormenting, to say the least.
I was also disturbed by the fact that a young and perfectly healthy woman like me had to encounter an unexpected obstacle within my body.
What made me even more miserable was the lack of empathy displayed by the healthcare staff when I went into labour.
While I was struggling in pain, I could hear the nurses in the adjacent room chatting and giggling away. Not one word of reassurance was uttered by the treating doctor or nurses. I felt it was extremely insensitive on their part. They were probably used to seeing labouring women every day and it may have been no big deal to them. But to the women going in there, experiencing that threshold of pain isn’t an everyday experience.
I fell into a deep sleep after delivering my angel baby.
I was woken up the next morning by a flurry of activity in the ward. The light came streaming in through the windows. When I opened my eyes, I felt a gentle presence beside me.
A young nurse with kind eyes was trying to communicate with me. She adjusted my blanket and stroked my forehead. She also told me in a very kind voice to forget about everything that happened the previous night.
From a psychological standpoint, I wouldn’t call that the best piece of advice, for how can one forget everything that happened.
We had lost our baby and I think it was perfectly normal to grieve.
But the fact that this nurse saw me as a human being and not just another patient in the ward touched my heart.
The fact that she cared enough and wanted to help ease my pain was good enough for me.
To this day, I remember her kind face peering down at me that morning.
Though I was in a semi-conscious state, her gesture left a deep impression on my soul.
Had she been in the ward when I went into labour, things may have been very different.
I wish her well and am grateful for the kindness she showed when I needed it most.
This article is dedicated to all the Angels in Healthcare who go that extra mile to make a positive difference in the lives of their patients.