A sweet voice- the only way I can describe the voice that I heard when I answered my phone as I awoke from a foggy sleep. A sweet voice that was filled with empathy, tenderness and friendship. I am so thankful for the women I am priviledged to serve with here!
Being awakened an hour after you lay to rest is tough, but to hear a sweet voice on the other end of the phone is such a blessing! (Thanks Friend!) She told me I had a continuity patient at the clinic. Since the woman did not appear to be active in labor, my friend offered to delay sending the guard so I would have enough time to dress and throw things into my backpack without rushing like crazy. She also would start checking the patient in for me.
I arrived at the clinic about 15 minutes later and found my cont "Ferry" in very capable hands. As I received her care, I thanked my friend- her sweet voice helped to make coming in this night a pleasure as I knew I'd be greeted with a smile!
I took the chart and went to speak with "Ferry". Labor had only started a few hours before, but she did not want to wait at home any longer as she previously had experienced fast labors. I didn't blame her one bit. Further evaluation revealed she was just considered to be in "active" labor and would be admitted. As I started the admission process, I wondered if it would be a long night.
I really love my patient "Ferry". Even in the throws of labor pains, she would smile, laugh, and joke! She laughed at herself when she would groan in pain or when she felt the pain was so bad it was funny. What a character! This was her 3rd baby, and she was super excited!
As the night wore on, labor continued to progress. Soon I realized that birth was near. I moved to sit near her at the end of the bed. She decided it was time to push. Though I always try carefully to protect myself from "contamination" sometimes, it just isn't enough. The next thing I knew there was a puddle of meconium stained fluid pooling on my skirt and splatter marks on my scrub top. We knew there may not be time to change so I sponged off what I could... then onward and upward!
We immediately checked for the baby's heart beat. Our ears detected the dreaded thump, thump, thump of an 80 count. Again we listened- 90, 80- this was not good! Baby's heart had been averaging around 140 all throughout labor! We repositioned the mother and gave oxygen. "Ferry" pushed well. The baby was coming, but not fast enough! One midwife grabbed transport papers, another prepared for resuscitation, and another jumped on the bed to help the mother into supported squat. We all worked together. The baby's head slowly descended, but despite our efforts, the baby's heart beat dropped to 60.
We prayed aloud. We told the baby he needed to hurry. We encouraged "Ferry" as she pushed with all her might. The minutes seemed like hours, but it was not long after that his head emerged followed by a limp body. Though baby was blue and not breathing, he blinked his eyes as he looked around. Seconds later he gasped in his first breath and ended with APGAR scores of 6 and 8.
Though he took a while to get his tone and color, he was here and his mother was thrilled. The miracle of birth always amazes me! God is so good! Seconds may seem like hours at times, but birth is still such a precious miracle! Baby was born at 2:48am. (no name yet!)
After delivery of the placenta and ensuring "Ferry" was stable, I left mother and baby in the capable hands of my fellow midwives. I needed to wash and change. But is was worth it. Every second of the heart stopping moments, every second of sacrificed sleep, every second of laboring with a mother- it is always worth it. Why? Because I am a midwife and it is what I am called to do!
Now, this tired midwife must finish her laundry (did NOT want those scrubs to sit in my hamper) and get some needed sleep! God Bless!