The vast majority of births and deliveries are joyful ones. Families celebrate the wonder of the new addition to their families, and clinicians go home at the end of the day with a sense of pride, deriving meaning from their professional lives. This is one of the reasons that many of us chose obstetrics in the first place.
But unfortunately, that is not always the case.
As an obstetrician, I know firsthand that there is virtually nothing as emotionally wrenching as a baby or mother suffering an injurious complication or dying during childbirth. Unanticipated, bad, even horrific outcomes sometimes happen — even when all precautions have been taken. Even when things are progressing as planned. And even when the team does everything right to manage complications as they arise.