Awhile back, I had the opportunity to take care of a former coworker having her first baby. She was a great L&D nurse with the sweetest disposition, very caring, and never hesitated to advocate for her patients. She started about a year after I did and after a couple years, she went to work in my OB/GYN's office. She had mentioned about 2 years ago that she and her husband were going to start trying to get pregnant, so I've been waiting to see her roll through the doors pregnant and when I'd see her in the office, I'd look to see if she had a belly. She did finally come in. An induction was scheduled for PIH and she had requested that I be the nurse. It was what we call a staged induction: a cervical ripening agent was used to "ripen" the cervix and once the cervix was soft, then pitocin would be started to get things going. They arrived at midnight and I got the induction going...and it lasted all through the day and when I came back the next night, she was still there. Only 3 centimeters. The nurse handing off to me told me that there had been some late decelerations, but she said they had resolved so she had talked with the doc and the pitocin had been restarted. I looked at the strip, still saw lates, and wondered why on earth she had restarted the pit. So I go in and do all the things to try to get the baby to be happy, but it was to no avail. I called the OB, she called for a c/s and we head back to the OR. It seems most of the time when we go back for a c/s for a non-reassuring fetal heart rate pattern, the baby, thankfully, comes out with Apgars of 9 & 9, leaving you to wonder if it was really necessary. Not the case here. This baby did not tolerate labor and was worn out and came out pale, floppy and was not breathing, but after resuscitation, she came around and made her feelings about the whole process known! The pediatrician showed the patient her baby and she looked at my friend and told the pediatrician "That's her mother, let her mother hold her". And with that, the very young birth mother made a huge sacrifice and changed the life of my friend by making her a mother. My friend, who had to leave the OR for a second because it was too much to watch as they worked to get her child to come around and take that first breath, cried tears of joy and relief. Watching someone become a mother is always amazing, but when it's someone you know, it's even sweeter.
The birth mother makes what is probably the most difficult choice she'll ever make when she decides to give the baby up for adoption, its a choice that she will think of for the rest of her life. I can't imagine the grief that birth mothers feel as they hand their baby over to a couple who will provide the life she wants for her child, a life that she can't provide herself. This birth mother said that it was a difficult choice, but she was comforted by the fact that the adoptive parents would provide a life she couldn't at this time, and that this little girl would be surrounded by love. Thank you to all the birth mothers out there for giving couples who are unable to have a biological child, the opportunity to be parents. Thank you for being brave enough to decide not to terminate the pregnancy, but to nourish and carry the child, to labor and deliver, to bear the physical scars of childbirth as well as the emotional scars, in order to give that child the life you want for her. May God bless you.