Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Won't my baby drown?

 Yesterday, Rosa came into the clinic saying the baby was on its way. This is her third baby and I believed her. She didn’t need to push yet, but she assured me it would be soon.

As we worked to set up the birthroom and check her vitals she writhed a bit on the bed. I went through all the basics; When did they contractions start? Any water come out? How about blood?

Focused intently on her pain, she shut her eyes with each contraction and softly answer our questions. Her contractions were just minutes apart. Heart tones were good, so I asked if I could do a vaginal exam.

She was fully with the head at a + 2 station while membrane bulged at the introitus. I asked if I could rupture her membranes to prevent a big splash, explaining that the baby would be born very soon.

She looked at me worried and a little confused so I reassured her that it would not hurt her or the baby at all. She still looked concerned so I told her that the membranes would break on their own in a few minutes anyway... but if she didn’t want me to do it, I most certainly wouldn’t.

Only then did she explain what was on her mind.
-- “But if you break the water, won’t my baby drown in the water?”
Huh? Drown? I made my translator repeat her question.
-- “Oh, you are worried the baby will drown?”
-- “Yes.”
-- “Your baby is living in that water and has not started breathing yet. I promise, your baby will not drown if I break it.”
Sighing in relieved pain, she agreed.

Her baby was born 5 minutes later -- A beautiful bundle of estrogen!

As I cared for her afterward, I couldn’t help but mull over her question. It actually makes sense. I can see why she would think it possible for her baby to drown. Perhaps that is one of the reasons they believe babies die in childbirth. I’ll have to ask more questions about this when I do the community outreaches.

Anyway, rejoice with me that another little blessings was born-- healthy and strong.