Monday, October 25, 2010

When God births a baby....

This afternoon, I woman came to the clinic in labor but she didn’t look it. She was too calm and seemed very tired. What was going on, I wondered.

Once I got a translator to help, her story started to make a bit more sense. Her labor started five days ago. The contractions got strong and then stopped this morning. She had very little to eat for five days and was near exhaustion. She walked five days to get to us. Five days. (She could have been in labor five days and walked two days... I’m not sure. But either way, not good.)

Her blood pressure was uncomfortably low (88/63) but she showed no other sign of shock. I rechecked it thinking my equipment was faulty. It came back 86/59. Low.

The fetal heart tones (FHTs) were also disturbing. They were consistently in the 60’s. (*note: FHTs should range from 120-160.) They were so low, I thought it might be the mother’s pulse I was hearing... but it wasn’t. I had a severely compromised baby on my hands.

I prayed while I put in an IV line and moved the mom around in various positions. My assistant got her some 50% dextrose ready and gave it intravenously.

I asked God for a miracle since He knows I never want to deliver a dead baby. We have this sweet agreement. He won’t give me more than I can handle. I can’t handle dead newborns. So I knew He was going to do something. But what He did surpassed my expectations.

Once the IV was in (I was watching the clock), exactly two minutes later I check all her vitals again. They were markedly improved. Her blood pressure went up to 130/70 and the FHTs jumped to 140!

I can tell you two minutes is not long enough for a significant change like this to occur but with God....

When I checked her dilation she was only 3 cm (70%, 0 station, but tight cervix) and her contractions were funky. I can’t tell if her uterus had given up or not. But she insisted that labor had been going on like this for 5 days and all her other babies came out after 2 or 3 hours. Something was wrong.

I decided to induce her with oxytocin in her IV fluids and barely let it flow when her first serious contraction started. And after 10 minutes, I shut off the drip and let her labor on her own. All vitals were normal so I left my assistant to watch her while I got lunch.

Not 20 minutes later he came running to tell me the water broke. Excellent. Progress. As I was going to check FHTs again, he runs back to me again saying the head is out!


I get there to see the membranes bulging and a mama making grunting noises (good sign) but fortunately no head. I ask her to breathe through the contractions. Last thing I want is her trying to push too soon.

Ten minutes later a baby boy was born! When I checked the chart, she dilated from 3 cm to baby out is one hour and one minute. Remarkably fast.

So this is what happens when God is the midwife. Miracles! 

They named him Yom Sabet until they can think of a better one. “Sabet” means Saturday the day he was born.