It was quite a busy outpatient day few days back, when the duty doctor got a call from Labour Room about a pregnant lady who had come in with a hand prolapse. The history of the hand prolapse was quite short and we found out that the baby was alive and kicking.
The patient was from one of the nearby villages. This was her fourth pregnancy and her previous three children were girls. The family had expected this one to be a boy. Couple of relatives of the family worked as servant maids in the homes of our staff and they had ensured that the lady was rushed to us.
We ensured that the baby was delivered within 20 minutes of YD's arrival to the hospital. Unfortunately, the baby turned out to be very sick.
And the fact that this baby turned out to be a girl ensured that the relatives were hardly interested to keep the baby alive. When we got her intubated and taught one of the relatives to mechanically bag her (we don't have a neonatal ventilator), this lady kept on asking if this was really necessary. We did everything that was possible.
The baby died on International Woman's Day . . .
All around the world, quite a lot of us were celebrating emancipation of women. But, the sad fact remains that in many a family, the girl child is seen as a burden. And I can only imagine the plight of the first 3 girls in this family if the next child is a boy.
The family did not agree for a tubectomy although we had advised it. They wait for a boy . . .