Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Endings ~

When she arrived telling me she was bleeding, my eyes flitted to the small protrusion around her middle and then to her face; she was serious.    
        -- Papa? Another stillbirth? Really....?

Bleeding this early means just one thing but I didn’t tell her that right off. Instead I motioned for her to lie down and describe her symptoms.

She reported large blood clots the size of her fist and copious frank bleeding. It all started two days ago.    -- Oh dear! Is this a placenta previa? Abruption? Lord... please help us.
-- “Two days of bleeding?” I asked a bit surprised, “Are you have contractions too?”
-- “Yes. Can you feel it right now?” She asked and motioned for me to touch her belly.

It was hard as a rock and small and she looked to be about 7 months pregnant. This was a almost play-by-play repeat of yesterday’s stillbirth. The only difference was I had time to ask her questions before the birth. Yesterday, the young girl arrived and before I could get her inside she delivered.

Shaking off that memory, I refocused on the woman before me. She looked remarkably calm.

-- “Can you feel your baby moving?” I asked. She just shook her head in response and I reached for my doppler.

I wasn’t expecting to find even placental sounds, so when the steady toc-toc-toc of a heartbeat blasted through the room I jumped; her baby was alive!         --Thank you Lord!

But my excitement was fleeting and I soon remembered such a small baby would probably die shortly after delivery. I steeled myself for the eventuality of it then informed her family of my suspicions.
They took the news with steady, knowing expressions but said nothing.

When I did a speculum exam, her cervix was dilated and it appeared to be either the head or the placenta. I couldn’t tell. So I poked a finger inside to see. It was soft but had hair. Not a good sign.
        --Her child would be premature for sure.

We set up for the birth and waited. But we didn’t have to wait long. Her contractions were strong and she pushed like the G4 she was!

Two pushes and a precious head was out. But then he wouldn’t rotate.
        -- Oh Lord, help him come out easily.

Fortunately he eventually rotated and the shoulders collapsed down below the pubic bone. But he was born with a tight cord coil around his neck and body --like a sausage chain.

He was alive but didn’t move or grimace for the longest time.
           --Apgars 3/4/5/7

I started oxygen immediately but he didn’t take his own first breath for several long minutes. I begged him to breath and prayed, but things didn’t take a significant turn for the better until Dennis came to assist.

Dennis was more aggressive with the resuscitation efforts. He made that boy breath!

Once stabilized he has improved remarkably. He’s maintaining his own temperature, he’s sucking a bit and his respirations and heart rate are solid. He is most definitely only 32 weeks gestation (or roughly 7 months), but I think he’ll make it.

Please pray with us that he’ll be able to breastfeed better. I’m determined to keep them at the clinic until he can. I so want him to live! Thanks.