December 23, 2008

A Little Faith before Christmas

I got to thinking about the number of times in my career that I've had a True emergency: meaning someone is on the brink of death. Yeah, I've had many moms who've been laboring and baby takes a dive, or a cord prolapse. Those are also emergencies, but I guess I mean emergency to the extreme. Emergencies when after it's all said and done, I realize my hands and legs are shaking. Anyway, I've had it happen 3 times with patients of mine. And I realized there are similarities. First mom, had labored and been pushing for awhile and the baby just wasn't going to fit. Doc called to do a c/s at 0600. So, we had her ready and were just waiting for 0600. It was going to be a nice, controlled delivery. The assisting doc was there and waiting and the primary doc and anesthesiologist were changing. We were just getting ready to go in and take out the internal monitors when I noticed that hearttones were taking a dive...down to the 30's. They were down in the 30's for a couple minutes, (can't remember exactly how long) when we decided enough is enough and had her back in the OR and delivered very quickly. Second one was a mom who had lost one baby at term and came in because she hadn't felt the baby move. Got her on the monitor and found the baby's heartrate to be 80's with decels. Got her delivered 20 minutes from the time I turned the monitors on. Then there was yesterday. Baby was already gone, but mom needed delivered NOW. Doesn't seem like too many similarities in their cases. Here's what was the same: all three were at change of shift so there was plenty of staff. The first mom was already prepped for c/s, c/s room already open, docs were there so delivery was within minutes. Second mom, there was a doctor there who just got done delivering another patient AND the anesthesiologist just happened to walk to the labor desk to see if he had anything. All of this at the exact moment we needed a surgeon and anesthesia. Third mom from yesterday, her MD was there because he had a 0700 c/s and had been in to see her and another patient he had. The anesthesiologist just happened to already be in the parking lot. If she had come in in the same condition 2 hours earlier, we wouldn't have had docs there to deliver and care for her...she probably would have bled to death. See where I'm going? When we needed people the most, they just happened to be available. Yeah, yeah, call it luck. I'm a firm believer that God had a hand in it. He provided us with the necessary tools/people. All three at shift change so plenty of hands, all three with doctors who "just happened to be there because.." so there wasn't a wait to deliver. And those are just patients I took care of. Another nurse and I realized out of all the True emergencies we could remember, this was always the case. Now I can't explain why bad things happen. I'm not supposed to know His plan. And you could say "Why did He even let this happen in the first place". I don't know the answer to that. But I do know this: He was watching out for these women. Maybe when bad things happen, He helps make the tools available to make the best out of the situation. Yeah, he took mom#3's baby with him, but she was very close to going with Him herself had much more time passed. And maybe that family will be closer than they were before. I don't really know. I really didn't need proof because I see the miracle of life everyday, in my own children and in witnessing birth and watching families get to know their babies. But for me, even after yesterday's horrible delivery, I can see He was there. And I believe. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas.


Mrs. Spit said...

I have never forgotten. If I developed pre-eclampsia in Africa, I would be dead along side my son.

But for an accident of my birth and the grace of God, I would be dead.

Julieann said...

awwww this made me cry! This puts a better prespective on things. SOmetimes we just get so fixated on the bad and fail to look towards the light, this is a good reminder! Thank you!

Morgan said...

God does always work things out perfectly.

I have to say that it's comforting to know that life threatening emergencies are not the norm in the OB ward!

Anonymous said...

May I ask a question?

One of the number one reasons I'm told not to do a home birth is because at the hospital everything is right there and ready should you need it. No having to transfer, just walk down the hall.

But if i'm reading this right, you're telling me that these true emergency c/s went off well because the right people (doc/anesth) just happened to be there at the right time.

so if these people hadn't been there, she would have bled to death, in the hospital?

have you heard of Dr. Amy's blog? I think you just blew her reasoning right out of the water.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you've never experienced a true obstetrical emergency when the appropriate staff wasn't available. I was an unfortunate patient who experienced one in the middle of the night, and I can't begin to tell you how traumatizing it was for my husband, best friend, the doctor and myself to wait for an hour to get the anesthesiologist back to the hospital. They say a hospital is the safest place to have your baby, but they don't tell you that they lack the staffing to keep it safe 24 hours a day.