You will forgive an obstetrician for a bit of jadedness. I have a remarkable job, but my focus when I'm on call is far from emotional. I'm concerned about the health and safety of my patient and her fetus. I review medical records, pore over the fetal heart rate tracing, look at my patient's prenatal record to see what type of testing she had and whether any of the results deserve special attention.
The last moments of labor and the first minutes after birth can be fraught, as my nursing colleagues and I reassure ourselves that our patient and her baby are well. It is rare that we take a moment to step back and appreciate the wonder of birth.
Which is why I loved 40 Weeks, the documentary from Big Belli about pregnancy and childbirth. The film is surely educational -- every expecting mother or woman considering pregnancy will learn a thing or two. From non-invasive prenatal testing, to ultrasound, to inpatient care, the film is packed with useful information.
However what struck me about the film is how it celebrates childbirth. It was like being a voyeur into a view of pregnancy I rarely get to see -- the view that celebrates the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. The excitement of new parents was palpable, the sheer enjoyment of the ultrasound images extraordinary, the anticipation of labor exquisite. Even the concerns and relief brought by a Harmony Prenatal test result took on emotional significance that escapes my interaction with this test on a day-to-day basis.
When you get right down to it, pregnancy is wondrous, and childbirth a miracle, and this film celebrates each week by following a host of pregnant women and their partners through the ups and downs of 40 weeks. I recommend it to anyone who has been pregnant and forgot how remarkable pregnancy is, and particularly to anyone considering this experience.