Child Birth

Summary of Birth by A.J. Cronin

Snapshots Class 11 NCERT

The story is about a doctor who saved a newborn baby that didn’t show movement after birth.

It was early midnight and after reaching home, Andrew, who was a doctor, could see that Joe Morgan had been waiting for him there for an hour. Joe was glad to see the doctor and requested him to come to his house immediately as his wife was expecting her first delivery. He agreed and both of them set for their destination. Meanwhile the same evening, there arose a dispute between Andrew and his girlfriend Christine and so many things were swinging in his head. His mood was not good. He could feel that the night was cool, deep and mysterious. As a doctor this will be his first case. After reaching the house, Andrew could see that all the people were inside a small room. Susan Morgan, the wife was lying in the bed, her mother was there along with a midwife.

The mother was quite suspicious and expressed her concern that Andrew shouldn’t leave the task in between. Andrew assured that he will not leave the case half attended. She offered Andrew a cup of tea and both of them were drinking tea by the firewood. Meanwhile the evening incident was continuously haunting his mind. He also recalled a similar incident at a railway station where a lady left her husband. So, he was feeling low and unable to overcome such thoughts.

Susan’s mother was experienced and insisted on not giving chloroform as this could affect the baby and the mother’s health. But the doctor denies such a danger. In fact, he said that the anesthesia that he will give will be harmless for both the baby and the other. At that moment the midwife screamed. The doctor realized that it was time for the delivery and he rushed upstairs to attend Susan Morgan. He left no stone unturned to ensure a safe delivery.

But post delivery, Susan’s condition was at risk and she became unconscious. The doctor injected some medicines in her to regain consciousness. The baby didn’t give any response and it seemed lifeless. The doctor recalled the condition as asphyxia – a condition where the body is deprived of oxygen. He instructed the midwife to bring two tubs – one with hot water and other with cold. He dipped the baby once in the hot water and then at the cold one and repeated the process several times. The midwife said that it was a still born baby and there was no chance to bring it back to life. Andrew gave so much effort because he came to know from Susan’s mother that after a span of 20 years she was giving birth to her first baby. Moreover, this was Andrew’s first case as a doctor.

He gave one last effort. He rubbed the towel on the back of the baby and suddenly it started breathing and immediately Andrew pressed his two hands on its chest. Everybody was shocked to see that the doctor gave life to a still born baby. Before leaving the house, Andrew told Morgan that the health of the mother and her baby was better. A sense of relief filled his face as at last he did something that was great and noble.

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