Having been on the obstetrics and gynecology rotation for the past month, I have to say that there were multiple times my mind was blown, by the sheer amazement of the birth of a child and also by the incredibly dramatic ups and downs behind the life of an ob-gyn.
For an entire week, I had to work the night shift from 5:30pm to 7:30am. Those were some of the most tiring yet exciting times I’ve ever been through on a rotation. Pregnant women go into labor 24/7, and babies are born 24/7. In our team room, we had an overhead monitor that displayed all the heart tone patterns of babies in all patient rooms, and part of our job was to keep an eye on those patterns in case a baby was deceling, code word for badness is about to go down and run as fast as you can to the laboring mom. There is nothing like dozing off at 3 am, then jolted wide awake by the beeping monitor alarm and running like a headless chicken towards God-knows-which-room while tucking in the scrub shirt that has fallen out of your scrub pants in your sleep. Often, fifteen minutes later, a screaming baby is welcomed into the world.
Another rare sight in the ob-gyn world is stat C-sections, which is the operation you carry out when something unsalvageably bad is happening to the baby inside mom, and you need to get the baby out ASAP. Literally. The first stat C-section I was in, I didn’t even finish putting on my sterile gown and glove before the baby was already out of the belly. When the resident was finished with surgery, she sighed to the fact that it took her four minutes to get the baby out. Four minutes! And that was considered way too long. Towards the end of the week, I had trained myself to scrub as fast as possible for surgery, running to the operating room while I put on boots and hats and masks, so that I can actually be at the surgical bedside when the surgery begins.
And of course the most incredulous part of the journey was how babies are born. Watching vaginal deliveries is unlike anything else I’ve ever witnessed. Standing next to the mom and watching how with every push, the baby’s fuzzy haired-head inches out bit by bit is both awe-inspiring and horror-inducing, mainly at how much pain the mother is going through. And usually, every woman relative in the room collectively screams when the baby is completely out, “OH MY GOSH”, “I can’t believe this”, “AHHH”. The baby then gets cleaned and warmed and wrapped up in a blanket, squirming around and voila! You have an additional member in the room from when you started this process. It is quite mind-numbing.
I can’t say that these experiences have made me want to be an obstetrician. At the end, I still gravitate toward ogling at the pink and squirmy baby. But Ob-gyns have definitely earned my respect with their dedication and forgoing of a normal human schedule with night shifts and all.
When I was on nights, there was nothing better than coming home to my bed. But the second best thing was having some warm and cheesy comfort food to munch on overnight. And this curry chicken rice bowl topped with cheese definitely belongs to the comfort food category. So here it is, a recipe for your next desperate attempt to pull an all-nighter, or just on those chilly rainy days when you need something warm and soft in your belly.
Cheesy Curry Rice Bowl
- 2 pieces of chicken breast, sliced into cubes
- 1 large potato, skinned and cut into cubes
- 1-2 carrots, chopped into bites
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp masala powder
- 3 tbsp curry power
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 2 cups of rice, cooked
- 1 large handful of shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 300F. In a skillet, sear the chicken breast for 7-8 minutes with a bit of canola oil until chicken is mostly cooked. Salt and pepper to taste. Save the chicken pieces in another bowl for later.
In the same skillet, saute potato and carrots for 5 minutes until sides of potato are golden. Add masala powder, curry powder and turmeric and saute until contents are evenly coated. Return chicken to the skillet. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and simmer on low-medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add cooked rice to the skillet and saute the contents until contents are evenly mixed. At this point, the curry chicken rice should be slightly creamy but not watery,
Spoon out curry chicken rice into oven-safe containers and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 7 minutes or until cheese is fully melted. Enjoy!