By Neila Dorfman, LM
The second season continues to deliver in episode 4- young girls and their first kisses, one not so young who’s never been kissed, a nameless goldfish and a chatterbox minister.
Lighthearted and fun in its opening moments, last Sunday’s episode turned suddenly into heartbreaking drama when the midwives deliver a baby with a big lump bulging out of his spine.
Young Jenny is clearly shocked and horrified, and suddenly I am transported back in time to one of my first deliveries, when I was a midwife-in-training.
It was over twenty years ago, in a large city hospital in Brooklyn, NY. I was a student midwife, doing my first deliveries under supervision of a senior midwife. Nervous and inexperienced, like Jenny, I was relieved when the little boy was born safely and cried immediately. Then we noticed that “lump” on his back—
No expectant mother wants to think about “what if”, and yet it can still happen. Spina bifida, the medical name for these “open back” defects, is still one of the most common birth defects in the United States. About 1500 babies are born with it every year. There is treatment, but no cure- yet most cases can be prevented with a vitamin pill. To learn more: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spinabifida.html
Once again, “Call the Midwife” brought an important issue to light- including the difficult road to acceptance for the family of a “less than perfect” baby- beautifully handled. Bravo!
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