Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Deep sadness

Sometimes things are just too sad.
The trial has started for a gynecologist that killed a woman by unprofessionality and neglect. He forced her baby out her womb and wounded her, and he didn't listen to her complaints that she was feeling really sick and losing a lot of blood. When the next doctor arrived, they had an emergency operation, but it was too late.
My midwife told me a few things about it. The doctor was the woman's private doctor. She extra paid for him to be there at delivery: this also means he was very tired, since his turn had just finished. He is well known to always want the birth to go faster than natural, and uses vacuum extraction much more than the other doctors. Plus, the next day there was a big sailing race, and the doctor was participating, so he was in a special hurry to go home and get some rest.
I was also in the hospital those days, in the maternity ward. Nobody told us anything, and it wasn't on the newspaper (my midwife told me after I went home). But I did see the beautiful baby, who never had his mother but a number of very sad looking people around: the father, the grandparents, uncles and aunts.
Most of all, I remember the elder brother, aged maybe 8, trying to hold the baby and feed it formula with a bottle. In my language formula is called artificial milk. At some point the elder brother asked: "Why do we give him artificial milk? Shouldn't he be getting natural milk instead?". Nobody answered that question. There was just a big silence. And then the child understood. He just said "Oh.". Very softly.
I was there, busy with my newborns, excited and happy. But that pause, and the little soft "Oh." really broke my heart, even if I didn't know precisely what had happened. I can't remember it even now without crying.

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