Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chubbiest of All the Land.

Amouk arrived in the morning with a fountain of gushing amniotic fluid each contraction; it pooled on the floor -- a puddle but not quite a lake.


Expecting her 7th child, she looked like she was carrying twins by the way her belly hung. It was a mountain beside her lake.

When I checked her, she was 4 cms dilated with abysmally short contractions. But with a G7, you can never guess how quickly labor might go. So I admitted her and watched.

She spent the morning trying to augment her contractions with nipple stimulation and walking. And I knocked off prenatal after prenatal from the line. There were at least 35 prenatals to see.

Each time I checked her baby’s heart tones, she would comment on the fact there might be two inside. What did I think?

I told her that I honestly didn’t know. I felt and heard only one baby, but she was the size of two babies... maybe even three!

We’d laugh each time and she’d go back to waddling around the clinic. I’d go back to my prenatal ladies.

When the very last prenatal was seen, I brought her back in for another vaginal exam. It had been hours (8 hours to be precise), and she was looking no closer to delivering. What was wrong?

Her second vaginal exam showed her to have made no progress whatsoever. She was still 4 cm and 50% effaced.


But by this time, her helper had changed. It was no longer her mother but a young lady named Martha. When Martha saw me she laughed excitedly and asked if I remembered her. When I said I didn’t and that I was sorry, she laughed again.

“But you delivered my baby last year! I’m Martha,” she exclaimed, “I named my son Stephen after you!”

And together we slapped hands in excitement and caught up on how my namesake had been doing. Martha was Amouk‘s niece and had no doubt encouraged her aunt to deliver with me.

So back to my story. When I told Amouk that she was not progressing and that I wanted to augment her labor with an IV drip, her only concern was whether or not she’d get home before dark.


It was about 4 pm already and it gets dark around 7:30 pm. Would she deliver before dark? I couldn’t say. But we induced/augmented anyway.

However once the oxytocin was running, her contractions kicked up a notch. In fact, just 30 minutes later she was asking to push.

Not sure if she was exaggerating things or actually ready, I did another vaginal exam. Not only had she dilated to 9 cms, but his head had dropped 2 stations. It was a go!

I let her push a few times but she wasn’t making progress so I asked her to hold off pushing until she was fully dilated.

Another 30 minutes later she started pushing with earnest. Although fully, her baby’s head wasn’t coming.

She pushed and pushed. The head molded and molded. I could see it crinkling up inside; but it would not come.


After 40 minutes of this, I tried the vacuum. And even then... he wouldn’t come. No doubt we were dealing with a bigger baby than normal.

However, with time his head started to crown and he eventually emerged.

Roughly the size of a mac truck, he squealed and complained as I wiped him down. Rolls of stocky legs and chubby arms, he flayed his arms in excitement.

He was HUGE!

If I hadn’t watched him come out, I would have sworn he was a 3-month old! And would you believe it, he is officially the biggest baby I have ever delivered!

10.3 lbs (or 4.7 kg) of kissable cuteness!

Twins he was not, but he could have been!

Afterward, Amouk laughed in relief while her mother --eyes greyed with age and cateracts-- took my hands and lifted them to the heavens --this is how the midwife is honored in this culture-- and together we praised God for His goodness in giving us a healthy baby!

Inchelich Nalich! Praise God! Inchelich Yesu! Thank you Jesus!