Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blessed Birth

I am tired as I swing my heavy backpack down and begin to unload its contents... the empty container that had housed a salad for my dinner, my emptied water bottle, and a bag of soiled laundry. I place the laundry in my hamper and grab some clean clothes... after a cold refreshing shower I look around the kitchen. There on the table is a plate with my name on it... I heat the soup and my friend who had also just returned from shift joins me.
Over the bowls of warmed hamburger soup we recount the evening's events.....

Early in the afternoon shift we witnessed a beautiful birth. This was the mother's 7th baby and things progressed quickly and smoothly. No tear, no problems, perfectly lovely....

Following this birth a few hours later, another laboring mother arrived. This was her 5th baby and her bag of waters had broken in the taxi on her way to the clinic. I helped to check her in and evaluated her contractions. She was pushing and not breathing well.
I checked. She was only 8cm and her cervix was beginning to swell from the extra pushing. I explained the need to stop pushing, but she would not listen. With each contraction, there was another gush of clear fluid. A check of her abdominal size and I suspect polyhydramnios (extra amniotic fluid).
After a little while, I was able to help her move to her hands and knees to help reduce the cervical swelling.

 I labored with her. She was not very happy with me, but that is ok... as a midwife I know that it isn't really the mother who is mad at me, but rather the hormones that she is experiencing... I don't take it personally... A few minutes after, I notice that there is baby's head visible. we offer for her to turn to her back... no response... we try to get her attention, but she is in her own space.

I know this baby is coming in this position and there is no time to turn back. I had only seen one birth in this position before. A friend leaned in and softly said "Its ok, just do it upside down"... I did. The mother would not listen, she would not breathe. Baby came fast with the next contraction.... a beautiful baby girl was born at 7:46pm.... Following baby was a huge gush of fluid... I tried to avoid it, but was not fast enough.... 'this is why I keep an extra pair of scrubs on hand' I thought to myself.... mom tore a little, but not as badly as it could have been.
Baby was named Hannah and weighed 8lbs and 4 ox... super cute baby!

I learned so much. I learned to not take things personally, to think fast, to adapt...
I sipped my soup and looked at my friend... "I love my life" I said...
Tired as I was I was so thankful. I am blessed to be in a place where I can learn so much, where I can go from a good and  busy shift back to my dorm and find a bowl of dinner waiting for me. I can sit and share my heart and learn from others all around me... granted, it is not everyone who would be able to discuss polyhydramnios while sipping soup... but this is my life. This is who I am... I am a midwife... and I am so very blessed!


  1. What a wonderful job!! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  2. I love you Sarah. You make me smile, I am blessed beyond words to have the privilege of being your Mom! God is sooooooooooo good!(hint: I would be a good one not to discuss polyhydramnios while eating soup) :)