I had been waiting for some time to put up this post. For beginners, it is just another post where I expose our double standards when it comes to respecting the Indian women. Many think that it is a problem only among the poor. But, it is an open secret that girl babies are not welcome into most of the middle class homes of the country.
It was another Sunday afternoon. We had one unbooked patient in our labour room, who had been progressing fine. However, we had given the family an option to take to a higher centre, the main reason being her Negative Rh blood group. They were no forthcoming.
The lady progressed well till her birth canal was fully dilated. Then problems started to happen. The baby just refused to come down. It was around 4 pm that we had kept a deadline for the baby to delivery. The head of the baby was too high for a forceps or a vacuum and it looked like an occipitoposterior presentation. We had to go for a Cesarian section.
That was when the tamasha started. The family did not want to have a Cesarian, They wanted a normal delivery. I bluntly told them that she could end up with a rupture uterus if they insisted for a normal delivery. The lady was having quite unbearable pain. On one hand I had the relatives refusing for a Cesarian section whereas the lady was shouting at the relatives to allow us to do a Cesarian section on her.
After about half an hour of pleading, they started to call up multiple people over the phone. Then they wanted me to talk to some doctor. They claimed that the doctor was the elder brother of the patient. He started in a quite rude way on why Cesarian was being done. I told him about the partogram and the way we do things. He told me in a huff that if that was the only way, I could go ahead.
It took the family another 10 minutes to give us consent.
Ultimately, we did the Cesarian. The blog post title gives away what came next.
Yes . .. .. it was a girl baby. The mother was not at all interested to see the baby. ‘I know it’s a girl, is'n't it’? she sighed. ‘My brother had helped me do to find out the gender.’ ‘The doctor brother’? I queried. ‘Yes . . .’ she replied as she drifted to sleep.
As I sutured her skin, she had woken up for a short time. She told me, 'I got married to a family who is not educated. They treat me like filth.' After the discovery that she was carrying a girl, nobody bothered to take much care of her. Her husband had gone off on a business trip although he was well aware that she could go into labor any minute.
I told her, 'But, it was your own brother who helped you find out the gender of the baby.'
It is no secret that healthcare workers especially doctors in developing countries have more boys than girls. I'm told that there are at least couple of surveys which prove that.
I wonder what use are laws like the PNDT Act when we (health professionals) ourselves murder/neglect the girl child.