Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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Centimeters


Calm,
quiet,
begin.

Inducing labor,
first baby,
foley placed.

We discuss expectations,
epidural is wanted,
will place later.

Excited for baby boy,
anatomy scan was normal,
should be simple delivery.

Foley balloon finally falls out,
anesthesia called for the epidural,
we then rupture amniotic membranes.

She’s comfortable watching the HGTV channel,
we leave to check on others,
she’s secure until dilated to completion.

We’re called in to discuss birth plan,
the music she wants and the candles,
“lavender helps to soothe my worried mind.”

The clock strikes midnight and just like that,
she’s been laboring for just over ten hours,
time flies when you cannot feel contraction pain.

Around two am the monitor shows a quick dip,
baby’s heart rate took a few short dives downward,
we roll mom sideways and baby recovers just fine.

Mom finally reaches ten centimeters and now time to push,
it’s her first baby so this could take a while,
I slip on gloves and we begin to practice pushing.

Baby’s head slowly crowns and soon her child pops out,
we hold our breath but quickly sigh as baby cries,
the placenta slips on out with no lacerations to fix.

We clean up and deglove,
baby gets beanie and blanket,
placed on mom to sleep.

Calm,
quiet,
complete.


Poetry Thursdays is an initiative that highlights poems by medical students. If you are interested in contributing or would like to learn more, please contact our editors.


Brian James Brian James (9 Posts)

Managing Editor and Contributing Writer

University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine


Currently, Brian is a fourth-year medical student at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. He was born in Westchester County, NY, and moved to Laguna Beach, CA in 2007. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology and a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017. Brian is planning on becoming an OB/GYN and is currently interested in Surgical Oncology. Outside of the classroom, Brian enjoys playing racquetball, reading on personal finance and nutrition, and enjoying outdoor activities at the beach and hiking.