This is part of the Medical Humanities series on Op-Med, which showcases creative work by Doximity members. Do you have a creative work related to your medical practice that you’d like to share? Send it to us here.
Amidst the chaos of chest pain and wheezes,
A baby was born after quite a few squeezes.
An unlikely arrival in the thick of the fray,
An unusual occurrence blessing our day.
You see, we don’t very often see birth,
We aren’t accustomed to that kind of mirth.
Ends of folks’ journeys is what we witness,
We hold their hands as they succumb to illness.
The bright cry of the babe did pierce my heart,
A light joy I felt, rare to find its kind.
A new ray of hope shone out of that room.
A bottomless promise came out of that womb.
The wail of that child felt like love to me,
Radiant newness, redeeming and free.
I was grateful to stand and bask in that light,
And imagine such meaning for that future bright.
What was your inspiration for this poem?
I practice critical care in various ICUs, and on that particular day I was in the cardiac care unit (CCU). The patient was a pregnant woman with a cardiac issue, hence her presence in the CCU for close monitoring during her labor and delivery process.
I was standing in the doorway of my patient's room while she gave birth with the help of the obstetrics team. The piercing, incredible cry of the newborn struck me deeply, and I had an immediate desire to write a poem about it.
How long have you been writing poetry? What got you started?
I started writing poetry more seriously as a creative outlet of expression during my month-long isolation with COVID-19 very early in the pandemic in March of 2020. I have not stopped since.
Why did you choose poetry as your medium?
Poetry is the most comfortable medium for me to express myself. I enjoy the creativity and flexibility of the form.
Lilit Sargsyan is an academic physician who practices pulmonology, critical care, and sleep medicine in Houston, TX.
Illustration by April Brust