House of Doctors by Tripti Sharan traces the arduous yet exciting journey of medical students, as they move on from practising on cadavers to dealing with real people and diseases, from unrealistic pressures and conflicting situations that test their grit to putting aside their own emotions and make tough decisions. An Excerpt:

Meanwhile, the labour room was once again caught in the middle of a storm. The shortage of staff could never be more acutely felt.

The patient was laid down on the table. As soon as she was uncovered, the diagnosis was clear.

The cord was hanging outside and along with it was a hand. Thankfully, it was moving.

The RSO looked around and shouted for help.

‘Hey, come fast. This is transverse lie with hand and cord prolapse.’ She had already pushed the cord inside again and was keeping the hand firmly inside as well.

‘The cord pulsations are there. Ma’am, rush to the operation theatre and get things ready for caesarean.’ She called out to her senior.

The senior rushed towards the operation theatre.

‘Can you please come here?’

I was surprised to see her pointing towards me.

‘Wear the gloves and come over. Keep your fingers where I tell you. The idea is to keep the pressure away from the cord. If it gets pressed the blood supply to the baby stops. Your fingers shall be inside, even while she gets transferred and moves inside the theatre.’ She explained.

To say that I was conscious would be underplaying it. I was positively nervous. Yet, I had no choice. The other doctors had to look after the labour room and there was no other help.

I kept my finger inside lifting the presenting part above the cord. I didn’t think of anything beyond that and laboured just as much as the patient to keep my hands there. The patient was shifted on a trolley to the operation theatre. Neither of us was given an opportunity to change. Infection and sterility control was not a priority at this stage. It was a ‘do-or-die’ kind of situation.

Everyone shouted at me. ‘Keep the hand there. Don’t move.’

My hands were getting cramped up but an unknown force held me there. As I tried to twist my hands inside, suddenly I felt my fingers being grasped by something. I shouted, ‘Someone is holding my hand!’

It took a second for all of us to realise that it was baby’s hand that had prolapsed outside along with the cord that had gripped me.

It took a second for all of us to realise that it was baby’s hand that had prolapsed outside along with the cord that had gripped me.

‘It means the baby is doing well. Great!’ The other doctors exclaimed.

It was a strange feeling. Was the baby reassuring me or was it seeking solace?

Don’t worry, little one. We shall see you through.’ I clasped the tiny hand in a silent promise.

The surgeon made a cut on the uterus and I felt the baby being pulled out from the above. I had to let the hand go.

The baby was born, a little distressed but soon her cry brought a visible sigh of relief on everyone’s face.

I peered at her. Would she ever remember the hand that she had clung to even before she was born? I knew the answer. I was the one who would never forget this.

Where else could you be a part of this out-of-the world, divine experience? Medicine had its lows but could any ‘high’ ever measure up to this?

Excerpted with permission from House of Doctors: The Inside Story of a Medical School by Tripti Sharan published by Readomania. Rs 399, 288 pp.

Also Read:On Queen Victoria & Royal Women Of India From The English Maharani

Love books? Follow authors? Join the SheThePeople Book Club On Facebook. Click Here

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.