For now I am ‘in charge’ of the maternity ward in the hospital. I am writing ‘in charge’, because the real women in charge are the midwives. They run the ward like it is their own kitchen. Lucky for me they know a whole lot about pregnant women and babies and deliveries, because really, what am I supposed to know about all this with only a few weeks of experience during my medical study, where I could hardly distinguish labour pains from gastro-enteritis and 3 centimeter of dilatation felt the same as 9 centimeters, which in fact makes a huge difference. So, spending some time with the midwives makes you both admire them but also wonder. For example, some of them are really brutal: if you don’t push hard enough they will literally slap you in the face and shout at you as if you as if you are 9 years old and have stolen a cookie from the kitchen cupboard. They will yell at you and tell you that you are a selfish bitch for not pushing hard enough, how dare you! And if the hole that your baby is supposed to come through isn’t big enough, they will just grab a pair of scissors and cut you open without the slightest form of anesthesia. Depending on the sister in charge, after having delivered your newborn, you will be allowed some ‘skin-to-skin’ contact with your baby. But after 10 minutes of cuddling you must make sure you quickly get back on your feet and run to your bed, because the next one is coming. Don’t ever think you will get any form of privacy, the labour ward consists of a 16 square meter room where two beds are put right next to eachother, so women are allowed to give birth syncronically. Great for mother-bonding.

Maternity chaos