Monday, May 03, 2010

Infinite Loop

An Infinite Loop
The birth unit was pretty quiet at times, and I did think about some things I wouldnt have otherwise. About work and play, and social life, and how everything comes together. About the hedonistic pleasures that threaten to consume me, and the work that balances it. About friends and connectedness. I believe I have finally found the answer to a question I have been asking myself for some time: Why is it that I do not seem to derive the same pleasure from human interaction as other people?

My mind used to be filled with ideas and speculations, and due to the subjectivity of the matter my mind was getting stuck in infinite loops. The answer is really simple. It's elegant. It's straightforward. It makes sense. It has much to do with the pleasure principle (link), and how one derives pleasure from the world. I feel like knocking myself on the head for not realizing it sooner! Change is a natural consequence of this basic understanding of reality. It should reflect in my personality in the coming months. Time will tell. More on this in my next blog post.

Some Thoughts From Birth Unit
I took the picture with my mobile phone. It's published in black and white because the really bloody, colour version of it will put many people off.

This baby did a somersault inside mum. There is no other way this could have happened. Pretty cool eh. Got to deliver a few babies last week, and I have got to say that a natural birth is alot more bloody than I ever expected. Im no longer curious why so many women die in third world countries from childbirth. I mean, women bleed, and bleed, and bleed. They are literally shaking after the baby is born. Baby itself is very slippery and covered in slime. They tend to come out blue as the baby is starved of oxygen during delivery (they turn pink a few minutes after birth). The head pops out first, and the baby usually has this really cute what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-here look on his/her face at this stage. Even with baby's eyes closed, you could tell baby is frowning. It's cute as. I also learnt another word to call a baby - Bub - Awww...

LADIES, if you want to have kids, have em early, have em young. Maybe it's just chance, but from my observation, older (30-40yo) primies (first time mothers) tend to struggle through labour. The baby's head is the size of a small grapefruit, or medium orange. Stuffing such a large thing down your vag isnt easy, and seems to be more difficult as a woman who has never had children gets older. I've seen a few babies literally fly out of mum in under an hour after entering the second stage of labour - these women were under 25. I've seen some babies (in older primies) who just dont seem to want to come out, or the mother is not elastic enough for the baby to come out. So the doctor comes in and helps deliver the baby with a vacuum cup to help pull the baby out. Not a pleasant thing for baby, and mum needs to get cut with a scissors (yes, down there) to help the baby get out. It's a bloody sight to behold.

If you're thinking of a caesarian section, know that it is even more bloody. The cut on the surface of your tummy looks ok, but the surgeon has to go through three layers to get to the baby. There is a layer of muscle, and the womb below it. The womb gets 15% of all the blood that comes out of your heart, and it needs to get cut to let the baby out. So yes, it is a bit of a bloodbath sometimes. And you will be looking at stitches on three layers of your body, the womb, the muscle layer, and the skin. If you saw these stitches being done you will probably never want to have a caesarian section.

I have just completed a week on the night shift at the birth unit of Dandenong hospital. Shift work really throws you off balance and I find that my sleeping routines are completely out of whack now...


  1. what is this actually? kinda scary! ahhaa

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. good man, your comment has been re-posted in the relevant blogspot post at Paul's Travel Blog.

  4. Did you get the patient's consent to take the photo?

  5. ShaZ, it's an umbilical cord.

    No consent necessary as the patient wasnt even in the room. We were in the disposal room doing a routine placenta check to make sure the whole placenta had been delivered (ie. nothing left behind in the woman).

    I took the picture because it's not a very common thing to see and it was there pretty much by chance. Occasionally, similar knots can cause problems for baby, but in this case it did not and was a purely coincidental finding.

    Those arent my hands in the picture btw, they are the hands of a midwife who's holding the thing up for me to photograph.

  6. So true, especially and unfortunately, unwanted body parts or samples removed from patients kind of become we the doctor/pathologist's property. This has a bit to do with Henrietta Lacks' case.

    Cool picture btw. Kinda reminded me of soft pretzels... ooops... just kidding :)

  7. soft pretzels lol. whatever roxx ur soxx.

    If you saw the real picture you would be craving for raspberry pretzels. It's red all over.