As we came crashing into the operating room, sterilized hands held steadily in the air in front of us, he said to me, “Do exactly as I do.”
So I did.
Stepping into my gown, hands in gloves, spinning carefully to let the attendant tie it up, stepping up to the operating table, careful not to touch anything else – do not break sterility. I stood beside him as he delicately instructed a younger resident, her steady hand carefully working through layer after layer, deeper and deeper.
In a flash of a moment, she said something aloud, swiftly sliced open the deepest layer, and the table became a whir of hands. Entire hands disappeared inside as fluid and blood rushed out, orders being given, and I clenched my retracted tighter.
Then she emerged.
In a room full of six people, now there were seven.
Time slowed enough for me to respond instinctively as the scissors were handed to me, and I cut my first umbilical cord. Tiny yet strong cries rose into the air: a healthy baby girl born to two blessed parents.
My first time scrubbing into a surgery. My first time cauterizing vessels, retracting skin, cutting an umbilical cord. To say I feel fortunate to be a part of another human’s entry into this world is an understatement.
“It’s not the days in your life, but the life in your days that counts.”