Friday, June 3, 2011

A Son to Hold.

Aluel is a G5 who has been coming for prenatals for months. When I first saw her, I learned her last two children both died at birth or immediately afterward. She couldn’t explain what caused it since her labors were not long or excessively difficult; the babies just died.

Personally, when I see consecutive term stillbirths, I think syphilis. So I treated her for it, prayed and monitored her carefully.

She came for check-ups faithfully and assured me she’d deliver with us. So when she arrived yesterday around noon, I was thrilled but admittedly worried, too.

What if he died? What if he wouldn’t come out? What if... ?

--Lord, give me the strength not to carry the fear of these last few days into this birth. Help me to trust You deeper than ever before and rest in Your goodness. Amen.

That settled, I turned my attention back to Aluel.

Her contractions were short and a bit sporadic, but it was definitely labor. Since she lived close by, I asked her if she preferred to labor at the clinic or at home. She told me she’d go home for a few hours until it was time, so I prayed for her and sent her on her way.

Four hours later she returned looking active but had no urge to push.

She walked a bit, and seemed relaxed, but her helper tended to hover. When Aluel needed to push, her helper, Achol, kept repeating: “You know her last two babies died at birth.”

“Yes, I know,” I reassured, “but this baby is doing fine.” 

Satisfied that at least I knew, she let it go; and Aluel started to relax.

A half an hour later, Aluel called me in, saying she had to push. I wasn’t sure if she was fully or not (since I hadn’t done a vaginal exam), but she was giving me all the signs that it was close.

She pushed on her knees, while I encouraged her softly.

Hesitant and cautious, she seemed to fight her body -- undoubtably fighting the memories of her past births.

Each time I saw her tense up, I grabbed my doppler and let her listen to the melodic toc-toc-toc.
-- “Do you hear that, Aluel. That’s a happy baby. He is doing fine. Keep pushing with your body.”

She nodded that she heard, then turned inside herself with determination. A few minutes later, he was born.

The first cry he made as he slid into my hands brought relieved laughter to the room.    
           -- He was alive!

But Aluel didn’t say a word, nor did she try to touch him. She just watched me wipe him clean, and smiled.    
--What a tender smile that was!

When all was said and done, she thanked me for the good work I did in keeping her baby alive. Smiling, I reminded her that it was her good work that helped this baby live, as well. She came for prenatals; she took her medicines; she delivered at the clinic.

And now... she had a son to hold.

Thank you Jesus! May she have ten more just like this one, and may they all grow up to glorify Your name! Amen.