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Excuse my absence
Medical school is kicking my ass right now
Sorry for missing a few weeks of articles now. I’m in the tale end of my third year in medical school and it’s a doozy. I’m on my OB/GYN rotation at the moment and it is very demanding. Between night shifts, labor & deliveries, and long days in the operating room from dawn to dusk it has been a journey. I haven’t had the time to stay up to date on biological news, although I do have an ever growing reading list to report on. I’ll have on week “off” where I am hoping to get a few articles written for y’all before I am sent on a mission to report to one of the country’s best medical centers to work in their cancer clinic (for operational security, I am being purposefully vague. I’ll share more after the deployment).
I will leave you all with a ponderment I’ve had while working in the delivery unit and studying obstetrics.
Labor is a very poetic moment in our lives that is useful to reflect on if you’re going through a hard time. You see, in order to engage in labor there are a series of hormones and actions that take place. One hormone in particular is central to the event and that is Oxytocin. No doubt many of you have heard about the hormone before and you may recognize it as the “Love Hormone” that is released with physical touch like hugging, or pair bonding actions like kissing or sex. Well, during labor, oxytocin is used by the body to force the contractions of the uterus. To make what was a paradise of a home, the womb, into a unlivable, collapsing tomb. The contractions caused my oxytocin agitate the baby and can even choke it from the maternal blood supply. As you watch labor, it’s almost like the idea is to create an environment so unlivable that the infant is forced to fight and seek a new home outside. And yet, normally, this change in the environment doesn’t come until the baby itself begins to signal to the uterus that it is ‘ready’ by moving and pushing at the boundaries around it. I assume no infant really knows what it is about to face during labor as the peace around it crumbles, but it takes on the task regardless. And as a literal act of love, the mother’s body torments the child until it powers through the birth canal and into the world.
I find this poetic because many of us face our hardest times when we reach for new boundaries. And I’d like to think that the trials we face are similarly products of love in someway that ushers us into a better place or form.
I suppose this thought is a defense mechanism but I think it will help me keep up the fight to that better place while warding off the cynicism that can engulf oneself all too easily. I hope that it might help you do the same.
Wishing you all well and I hope to report more good news about biology to you all soon.
Sean H. Jackewicz