Friday, August 23, 2013

A Touch, A Smile, and A Prayer

You can not always alleviate a mother's fears with words alone... often a touch, a smile, a prayer is needed...

What was it about this woman. She entered the clinic as any laboring mother does. She told me this was her 3rd baby... that she had some contractions, no bloody show, and she just wanted to know her progress. Though her mother was with her, she was anxious... her 2 young children were waiting outside for her... how long would this check take... I look at the chart as she heads to use the CR (comfort room aka. bathroom)...

After scanning through the prenatal progress notes, something jumps out to me... Suspected Abuse... "Pt reports going to doctor for 'accidental'.... medicine given"... and another by a 2nd midwife "Pt reports bruising on face from accidentally being hit"... and a 3rd "Pt is living with her mother now, separated from bana".... *

She finishes in the CR and we move to the cubicle. I look into her eyes and begin the check in. We talk about baby...
Vital signs are normal-Check...
Her GA (gestational age) is good and is near her EDD (estimated date of delivery)-Check....
Measure growth of the uterus, it is good- Check...
Positioning of the baby... I am not sure... I feel again... I second guess myself, unsure of what I am feeling... I try to find the heart tones and don't hear them where they "should" be according to my position... The thought "Better to be safe than sorry" flashed through my mind... though I have been here a year, I go and ask the head midwife to come and reassess the baby's position... LOA (Head down and body on the left side, towards the mother's front)... good... same as I thought... I try again to find the heart tones. The other midwife stands to watch. I hear them, sporadically, is that them, no, to slow... wait... count... 90, as midwives we exchange glances... I check with another doppler... 90... not good....

As I gather supplies and start to check her progress via internal exam, the head midwife prepares to start an IV and calmly asks others for more assistance, I feel reassured by her calmness. One midwife rushes in, provides the mother with oxygen, and starts to recheck the heart tones... Another picks up the charting... She is 6cm... As the head midwife inserts the IV, I glance up and notice scars slashed across her wrist... my heart breaks for her...

I hear the tock-tock of heart tones rise, baby's heart tones pick up speed... 130, 140, 136... normal, safe, good... We smile and breathe a sigh of relief... Oxygen is discontinued... heart tones remain stable...the other midwives disperse as I explain to the patient... her mother calls for a neighbor to come and stay with her laboring daughter so she can bring the young ones home. My patient looks away... she is silently crying... I hold her hand. She turns to look at me... We are alone in our little world, though her bantay and another midwife stand in the cubicle... we gaze at each other... she cries, I place a hand on her rotund belly and I pray... I pray for a safe delivery, for peace, for this new life...
 I pray, and she cries...
A few minutes have passed.... I check the heart tones again, they are good... As I talk quietly with her, she talks with me... she soon seems more relaxed, but is still tense... I can sense that she is holding back... I leave for a little while to give her space...

When I return she is standing and rocking her pelvis between the contractions... a good sign that she is moving.... I observe a contraction and check the heart tones...my gut tells me that her body is wanting to progress, but that she is still holding back.

I again talk with her... she bites her lip... "just let it out" I whisper... "Just let it go... it is ok to cry, no one needs you to be tough right now, I am here to be tough for you"... she looks at me and the tears begin to flow... She rocks more aggressively. After a few minutes she is doing better... baby seems to be fine... I give her some space...

Within 10 minutes I hear her cry out, I rush to the cubicle and smile when I discover that her response to the contractions is no longer the stoic glare, but a laboring woman... one who has allowed herself to let go and let her body work...
Though it is time for endorsements to the next shift, I monitor heart tones one last time... they are still stable... all seems well... I thoroughly explain the situation and need for extra TLC to the new midwife on duty... She smiles and introductions are made... I know she is in good hands....

My Friend returns from shift and reports that her cute baby was born less than 2 hours after I have left... music to my ears!

What was it about this woman? I have seen similar cases before... but for some reason, today, today it just all seemed that much more real to me... to see the power of prayer... the power of a gentle touch... the power of a caring calmness... the power of emotions... the power of your gut feeling, the power of midwifery, the power of God....

I am so thankful that the Lord was able to use me as a channel to show His love to this woman... To share with her that I truly cared, and that the Lord did too... This is why I am here... it isn't always about welcoming that new life personally into the world, but about sharing Christ's love and drawing them to HIM... through a touch, a smile, and a prayer

*Please note that some details have been changed, but the basic idea is here...

1 comment:

  1. Love you~ Thankful that you are allowing God to use you as a vehicle to show His great and mighty love.
    Mom

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