My 10.017 babies

A new mother’s eyes light up the first time her baby is placed in her arms. Sometimes that light lasts a lifetime, and other times it suddenly disappears among the shadows of our existence.

I have taken my experiences in the mountains with me, along with the joy garnered from my decades working as an obstetrician at Casa di Cura Santa Maria in Bolzano, where I first started in 1966.

Looking back, I can say that I delivered an average of one baby for every household in Monzoccolo; in many cases, the families had up to nine, and sometimes even twelve or thirteen babies. One time when I was working at Casa di Cura Santa Maria in Bolzano, a doctor asked the woman giving birth if she had known me for a long time, because during her delivery we seemed to be very close and I had already delivered her first child. "Yes," the woman replied, "Mrs. Morelato delivered me and my siblings and even one of my grandmother’s babies!" The doctor turned to me and said, "Excuse me, but how old are you?" When I retired, my husband said that I had nothing to show for in life aside from my work. Surely he must have felt that way for a reason. But I think I’ve had a great many joys in life, and I’ve been able to experience them delivering babies.

I still remember a lot of people, and I know some of "my babies” from the past, but not all of them – how could I know all of the ten thousand some odd people that I helped bring into this world over my 50 years of work, from when I started studying obstetrics in Padova until I retired? I obviously had to deal with miscarriages, which is something that an obstetrician has no control over, but aside from that I can honestly say that I never had a stillbirth or a mother die during childbirth.
I have only God to thank for this, because I know how closely linked life and death can be.

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Title: Meine 10.017 Kinder (My 10.017 babies)
Author: Irma Geiser Morelato
Year of Release: 2010
Publisher: Spectrum
ISBN: 978-88-6011-118-0

 
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