Thursday, June 12, 2008

Miracle of miracles

Well. It happened. I saw a baby be born. Today. It was the most disgusting, most fantastic miracle I have ever seen.
I was assigned my patient at 7:30 am. We leave at 2:00. At 11:00 I was told I probably wouldn't get to see the delivery. Dang it.
At 12:45 she was dilated 10 cm (this is called complete... you figure out why). For the next 3 hours, I coached her through her contractions. Three hours. With a contraction every 1-2 minutes lasting anywhere from 40-80 seconds. At 2:00 my instructor came in and I must have given her Bambi eyes or something because she said, "You want to stay, don't you?" I was like, "I've been here all day! I really don't want to leave right before the baby comes!" And she goes, "Good. Well, I'll be here somewhere. Here's my cell phone number. Call me when you're done." Su-weet.
Another hour and a half of pushing. It reminds me of that Calvin and Hobbes quote. Calvin just broke something and Hobbes asks him if he's going to tell his mom. Calvin is like, "Are you kidding? It's times like these when all she can remember is how long she was in labor with me." She has every right to remember, Calvin. I was exausted just watching this girl push.
Anyway, at 1530, the senior resident came in and got gowned, booted, and masked and got these. Well, okay. Not exactly like this pair, but very very similiar. They were shoved in and locked onto the head and that baby was pulled (NOT gently) from the birth canal. Aw. A little baby, fresh from it's mother's womb, right? The typical picture comes to mind. No. No no no no no. This child was bloody, purplish white, cone-headed, with cheesy gunk in between his toes, fingers, and in his armpits. He was slung to the warming oven, vigorously wiped down, and suctioned. As he lay there, color started spreading over his body. His toes and fingers curled around the hands touching him. He informed the world that, not only did he have working lungs, but he was not happy with his treatment. The mother began to ask, "Where is he?" The little man was wrapped up, and the nurse walked him over to her. And I thought of the verse in John: "Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you."


s. wells said...

i love the visual aid of salad tongs.

Amy said...

sarah, i swear that is seriously what they looked like! only they were metal and came in two pieces. But they were put together while jammed into the birth canal. Good gravy.

elliebird said...

i used to think that my forearm muscles were called my forceps.