Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Disappearing Delivery

Rebecca is a young patient of mine who’s been coming in for several months. The last time I saw her, she was dealing with a very small fundal height and possible IUGR infant. She is 15 going on 12 and acts it too. She speaks with a small voice that rings of constant fear and stands little taller than my shoulders.

Her main problem prenatally has been getting enough to eat. She lives with her grandmother and has a husband (who raped her, got her pregnant, then “married” her) but he left to work in another town and gave her no money.

Because of her size, I’d expect a small baby... but it’s always been a little too small for my taste. So when she came in to the clinic in labor, I was happy to see her. She was alone (not even her grandmother was able to come) and obviously scared... but I was glad she was coming to where we could help her.

All her vitals were normal and she was already 3 cms dilated, 90% effaced, so I encouraged her to rest and promised to check on her often. But just before dark she decided she HAD to go. She told the health worker on shift she was leaving and as he was coming to get me, she took off. By the time I got there, she was long gone.

So right now, she could be anywhere. She could be home or on her way there. She could be leaning against a tree in the middle of the field.

I wish she hadn’t left.

Lord, when did I become such a worrier? And why do I keep scaring my patients away? Pray she has a safe birth. I have lots of reservations about this one....