This poem was written by Erin Loeliger, MD, an Obstetric Anesthesia Fellow from Stanford Hospital.
My journey starts in a quiet plastic bed
Awoken from slumber by screaming and calling for help
To find other friends, other needles like me that paved the way
This way, this way!
Where am I?
Coaxed forward by a gentle hand on my shoulder
Between islands of bone
Tighter and tighter
Pulled up short
As all resistance is lost
Surrendering to stillness
Looking in awe of the dura
Going up and down
As far as the eye can see
Looking solid but not
One wrong step
And I could fall through
Into a starry sea of neurology
A sacred space that I can’t pass
I go just far enough
But not too far
Lost in the wonder of it all
Just far enough for the pain to go away
And for a mom to breathe again
To come back to herself
To let go of Dad’s hand
Which can finally regain circulation
And baby is born into a quieter world
With less screaming in their ears
My journey done, my purpose fulfilled
What more glorious existence could I ask for?
And you who reads this, what about you?
What do you live for?