It was nearing the end of a long shift. I had already transported a laboring mother and sent another who was in early labor home. I looked up as the door creaked and I heard the familiar call of “Labor”.
I scurried to assist this young girl. She gripped her abdomen as she cried “SAKIT”(translates PAIN). I assured her that pain was normal. As I gathered more information, I learned this was her first baby and the pain had started an hour ago. She was only 16.
I prepared to evaluate her labor. With each contraction I helped her focus and breathe. As I assessed her progress, I noted that she was fully dilated and ready to push. Her eyes widened in disbelief. I assured her that I was also impressed by her rapid progress, however, I urged her that the time had come and her baby was on the way now.
She told me that she had thought she would be sent home and had not brought anything for birth. I explained that either way, prepared or not, baby was coming soon. A short 18 minutes later baby Elissa Merideth entered the world with a cord looped tightly around her neck. We later joked that if the cord had not been in place, baby may have fallen out in the taxi.
Another example of do not judge a book by its cover. (For all who are curious we later found out that she started having painless contractions at 5pm, painful contractions at 8pm and baby was born at 9:23pm)
She was definitely the best young, first time mother I have had in a very long time. What a beautiful birth!