I am a parent with no children

by Claudia Ravaldi

Tales of the present day and futuristic tales of the world to come.

Acceptance of the emergency room of obstetrics and gynecology, in an Italian city, nowadays. (from women’s tales).

“I am Marco Rossi, I am 40 years old, I am a merchant, she is my wife Maria Bianchi 37 years old, we are here for losses, Maria is pregnant for a few weeks.

How do you say? Other pregnancies? Ah yes, we are already parents.

How do you say? How many children? 4.

How many parts? Nobody.

Embarrassed silence of the intern. Amazed and perplexed look of the head of gynecology. Eyes to the sky of the midwife, after three shifts in the emergency room in two days, charades and riddles, no, they are not for her.

How anyone? investigates, the primary.

None, my children died in the third month of pregnancy. We did the scraping.

Ah, but then it’s about polyabortivity!

Those don’t count as children, put zero. – says the head physician, to the midwife, who draws a line to the children box by pressing with the pen.

Marco shakes hands with Maria, who has tight lips and a very pale face, like someone who knows, and doesn’t want to know.

Do you have losses, lady? – the head physician gets up with his back to the couple and approaching the ultrasound bed, puts on his gloves.

And then let’s see if this one does as well as the other 4.

….

Futuristic tale

Acceptance of the emergency room of obstetrics and gynecology in an Italian city, in a few years.

“I am Marco Rossi, I am 40 years old, I am a merchant, she is my wife Maria Bianchi 37 years old, we are here for losses, Maria is pregnant for a few weeks.

How do you say? Other pregnancies? Ah yes, we are already parents.

How do you say? How many children? 4.

How many parts? Nobody.

Participatory silence of the trainee who looks up from his briefcase and tunes in to the couple, looking at both Marco and Maria in an encouraging way.

Questioning and interested look of the head of gynecology, who puts down the mobile phone and approaches the edge of the desk with his chair, flexing his torso towards the couple.

Eyes raised towards the midwife’s woman, a look of understanding and trust: she is tired, Luisa, after three shifts in the emergency room in two days, but she feels that this couple has difficult and painful things to say.

What, no birth, Marco? Maria, can you explain us better? Lever? – asks, the primary. Meanwhile, Luisa slips from her post and sits at the edge of the desk, between the head physician and the couple, as if to act as a bridge.

We didn’t have time to give birth, you know? Unfortunately, none of my children have reached their fourth pregnancy. We did 3 scrapings. – says Maria, looking at the ground.

So if I understood correctly there were three pregnancies, one of which was twins?

-Yes doctor – Marco smiles, shakes Maria’s hand, whose lips are tight and pale.

So let’s write 3 pregnancies, one of which is twins, interrupted at the 12th week, Luisa.

And for these losses have you already taken exams? Have you received any directions to follow for this new pregnancy?

– They told us that only if this one went wrong, we should have investigated; we hoped it would go well, but instead …. – Marco shrugs and looks at them, as only a father who knows, and would like not to know, looks at the doctors and operators in the hospital.

– Marco, Maria, this could be a picture of poliabortivity that we should take into consideration anyway, because slight losses in the first trimester can also be considered normal, but after 4 lost children it is advisable to be cautious and take one step at a time. (addressed to the trainee: go and get the obstetric file from the high-risk pregnancy center, so we make an appointment with the lady)

Marco and Maria look up and let go of their shoulders, which have remained locked in a vice since entering the hospital. They feel understood. They feel respected on their painful journey. They can trust and face the visit, they know they are in good hands.

Now tell me what week you are, if you have already done an ultrasound in this pregnancy, if you have already seen the baby’s heart and especially if the course is similar to previous pregnancies, then let’s proceed with the visit, taking into account all that that we have said so far.

There will come a day when the parent without children (live) will receive due respect for his experience and will be free to express his parenting so difficult to understand and respect today.

For all the Marco and Maria I have met.

For all “parents without children” and for all operators from the future, who even today, welcome couples with respect and wisdom.

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