“Whatever you do, don’t drop the baby”.
The chief resident’s voice echoed in my ears, reminding me of my sixth birthday party. I had just finished painting a ceramic dragon that I thought was just *the coolest* thing in the world.
Victoriously, I raised the completed artwork above my head. I was unstoppable. With my dragon and high-pitched voice, I was a Texan Daenerys Targaryen, ready to conquer Westeros.
Rushing to join my friends, I placed the winged reptile on a table. One step…two steps… then a soul-shattering crash. I turned to confirmed what I already knew: the beast, in all its violent beauty, had been slain by gravity and the clumsy hubris of a young child.
So, perhaps this wasn’t the best thought as I delivered the first baby of my med school career.
“Scrubbed up” for the first time, I shifted my weight nervously from foot to foot. Again hearing the words of the chief resident – “whatever you do, don’t drop the baby” – I wiped any trace of foreboding from my face. I was not going to let the mother, father, or physician see the flash of nerves that came with the memory of my 6-year-old self’s clumsiness.
I took the baby girl securely in my hands, and steadily passed her off to the resident. In an instant, my job was complete.
As the newborn took in her environment, cried, and settled down for a nap, I found myself wanting to do the same. Instead, I simply smiled and did my best to remember every detail of what I had just witnessed.
In that one morning, I assisted in delivering four beautiful baby girls. Even though it was one simple task, I was a real member of a team – responsible for welcoming our newest friends to Houston, Texas.
Forget mythical reptiles… THAT was the coolest thing in the world.