The cornerstone of our culture at Fernandez is that we treat every patient equitably, with respect and dignity, irrespective of their social or financial status. It is imperative that each of us believes in this principle implicitly and practices it in everything we do. Here is a story that exemplifies this trait. The patient’s name has been changed out of respect for her privacy.
Swathi (name changed) was totally ecstatic after giving birth to her at Stork Home recently. In her words, “To say that the experience was primal or that it put me in a trance is an understatement”. Yet, she admits, it may not have happened but for our team of midwives who believed in her ability to birth naturally.
This is story of Swathi’s birthing experience, which she was kind enough to share with us.
Hers being a low risk pregnancy, Swathi chose to be handled entirely by our midwives and was under the care of midwife Teresa and team. Even though her due date passed without the onset of labour, she chose to hold on and strive for a natural birth.
Eventually, she cam to us early one morning having begun to experience contractions. She had dilated by about 1 cm and was shifted to labour room, which, as she puts it had ‘positive affirmations playing on the TV with gentle music, aromatherapy in the corner and a big bathtub in the centre.’ By mid-afternoon she had dilated only to about 3 cm. However Teresa was there with her throughout, reassuring her and ensuring that her wishes were taken into account. Swathi says, “I felt heard and that my best interest was at heart. I felt like I was a part of the process and not being dragged along to just deliver a baby.” Teresa stayed with her for almost 13 hours at a stretch and returned the next morning because she knew that her presence comforted Swathi. Even when she broke down midway and almost gave up on herself, Teresa encouraged her to stay the course.
Saturday passed into Sunday Teresa was still at Swathi’s side with midwife Dhoni. Swathi had dilated to 10 cm and they felt she was ready to being pushing but a complication arose. Though the baby’s head had descended, the backbone was not properly aligned. Swathi began to panic fearing that she would have to be operated on despite all her effort. Teresa, Dhoni and Swathi’s husband kept here spirits up and roll on the birthing ball before squatting down to try the birthing pushes. Teresa was there by her side urging her on.
At many times during the next few hours, Swathi was on the verge of giving up. She recollects, “It felt bigger than me. It felt harder than I imagined.” However, the team of midwives and Swathi’s husband got her to persist.
Eventually, Swathi felt that the baby was emerging and asked Dhoni to check. Indeed the baby’s head was now visible. Dhoni got busy preparing for baby’s arrival, while Teresa continued to encourage Swathi. A few minutes and pushes later Swathi’s precious little one came into the world.
At Fernandez, such incidents reaffirm our conviction that, ultimately, our actions must always be guided by the patient’s best interest, even if it means going against their wishes. There cannot and must not be any other motive for us to come to work every day.