Tag Archives: pregnancy

A brief life

Andrea Eisenberg  Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, United States   Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash  I felt his legs wiggling in the sac of warm fluid surrounding him. His body was so tiny, his kicks were like a feather passing across my fingers. But his warm, dark world was about to slip away. Did he already sense it? Or […]

Ephesus and its renowned physicians

L. J. Sandlow George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   To visit the extensive ruins of Ephesus is to step back into the beginnings of history. The city had been founded by Ionian Greek colonists in the tenth century BC. It prevailed after an early turbulent history and was prospered initially as an independent city-state. […]

The Rh factor: An intertwined history

Paula Carter Chicago, Illinois   Lucy Reyburn Rittgers and two of her daughters, circa 1948. Source: Family photo In 1924, Lucy Reyburn gave birth to her first child, a daughter she named Darlene. Lucy lived in Iowa and the birth was an embarrassment. She had become pregnant and hurriedly married a man who left before […]

James Simpson, who made childbirth painless

A large jolly man with broad shoulders, large hands, blue eyes, and a charismatic personality, James Young Simpson was said to have been the most popular man in Edinburgh since the death of Sir Walter Scott.1 Born in 1811 at Bathgate, he was the seventh son of a village baker in a poor family housed in […]

Infertility in Nigeria and the race for parenthood

Princewill Udom Port Harcourt, Nigeria   Infertility is a growing problem in Nigeria. In one study, researchers found that female gender-related causes accounted for 42.9% of infertility, in contrast to male causes, which were about half that number.1 Common causes are broadly categorized into genetic, physiological, endocrine, and lifestyle factors. One consequence of this problem […]

The curse of the blessing

Medha Pande Nainital, India   Photo by Pradeep Pande For the wedding of a second cousin, I visited my ancestral village for the first time at the age of twenty-five. The tiny hamlet is in a quaint, expansive valley in the middle Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India. The once prosperous region is struggling under the pressure […]

Jan Steen: quack doctors visit lovesick maidens

Like his contemporary Molière, the Dutchman Jan Steen makes fun of quack doctors, often shown in ridiculous costumes visiting young love-sick or pregnant women. In the Lovesick Maiden (Fig.1, Metropolitan Museum) the diagnosis is suggested by the painting of a Cupid above the door, the bed on the right, and the bed-warmer on the lower […]

Enough

Laura Loertscher Portland, Oregon, United States   Photograph of author (Laura Loertscher) and her son. Personal photograph taken by author’s husband, Jesus Moreno, and submitted with his permission. The last food you ever ate was a cup of orange sherbet from the nurses’ station. I saw no reason to make you NPO. After all, you […]

Bob Edwards and the perils of publicity

James Owen Drife Leeds, United Kingdom   Edwards (seated, left) and Steptoe brief the press at Oldham General Hospital after the birth of Louise Brown. A license to publish in Hektoen International has been obtained from Press Association Photos Limited, London. The physiologist Robert Edwards began thinking about human in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in the 1950s and […]

A mother’s voice

Kelsey Hart Denver, Colorado   The trappings of NICU life; a mother’s view her daughter and the equipment needed to help her live and grow. Photo credit: James Hart I sit in the blue plastic recliner, coping with the familiar feeling of boredom and anxiety by flicking through a game on my phone. My daughter dozes […]