January 20, 2012


*L&D unit, wee morning hours, mom presents in labor.

Mom: This child is my miracle baby

Nurselochia: Yeah?

Mom: Absolutely. We tried for year for a baby. Finally we had our daughter and we were on top of the world. But we wanted her to have a sibling. Someone to share life with. And we felt like our family wasn't quite complete. We wanted another child. So we tried, and tried and finally we got pregnant. Then I lost it. So we tried again. And again I lost the baby. This happened 3 times and I finally told my husband that I would try one more time. But if I miscarried another child, I couldn't do it again. We gave it another go. And I was happy but terrified when that second line came up. We waited until I was about 8 weeks to see the doc. We went in, both of us on edge and Doc did a sono to verify that I was pregnant. We saw the baby...but there was no heartbeat. No blood flow to the baby. We were devastated. Doc suggested we go home and give my body time to naturally miscarry. He wanted to see me back in a week just to check on me and we'd go from there if nothing was happening. I didn't want a D&C. So we went home and cried and started praying that God would allow my body to do what it had done with the 3 prior losses. But nothing happened. We went back a week later and saw Doc. He did another sono to see if anything was starting to happen, and the look on his face told me nothing had. He looked at me and said "I don't know how to tell you this..." and I interrupted "I know, I can tell nothing is happening". He said "No, that's not it at all. Here, look here". So I looked at the screen and there was this little flickering where there hadn't been a week ago". Doc said "See? This baby is alive. I don't understand it, but look at that!" And here we are, 40 weeks and I'm going to get to hold this little boy that I thought I'd never have!

I wasn't sure why her doc would have done another sonogram after the initial but I've never worked in an office before and that early pregnancy stuff I'm not so good with. I thought maybe she didn't quite understand everything, maybe she had been too early to see a heartbeat and that's why her doc wanted to recheck in a week. I also knew at 8weeks there should be a heartbeat. I also had no reason to doubt her. It just seemed so unlikely. I was skeptical until I looked at her prenatal record the office sent over. And right there, documented in this pregnancy history just as she had told me. "IUP at 8w. No cardiac activity noted." And then an entry that estimated gestation to be 9 weeks with a healthy heartbeat, followed by a long list of appointments that outlined her prenatal care, and verified that her dates were absolutely correct. Her doc affirmed her story at delivery. Maybe there was a more logical explaination as to what happened. Maybe they just "missed" the heartbeat, etc. But I choose to believe that they didn't miss anything, that this truly was a miracle. Why question something that had such a positive outcome? There wasn't a dry eye in the L&D department that night. A prayer was said as this little boy entered the world screaming and healthy. Very much full of life.

Who says God doesn't perform miracles?

January 9, 2012

One sign it's the end of a busy, busy night.

On one particularly busy, crazy night, I had a patient who we were watching for labor. She had an IV running for no other reason than to have it in "just in case she went into labor" and she decided wanted to get up and walk the halls. I saline locked her IV and just attached the end of the tubing to another port on the IV line, above the IV pump. She got up, walked for awhile and then decided she was ready to lay down. I flush her saline lock. About that time, I was called out of the room to go to the ER for a patient who came in by ambulance who was crowning. I quickly turn my pump back on, and make a mad dash to the ER where got the pleasure of catching a baby down in the ambulance bay while the ER staff stood as far away as possible. (They don't do labor...we don't do traumas. We have an understanding). Exhilarating. Anyway, I go in to check on my other patient who had been up walking, who was now asleep, and I'm surprised to see the IV bag looks suspiciously as full as it was when she went back to bed.* I use my clinical skills and I realized why...I never hooked the tubing back up to the saline lock. The fluid was just cycling through the pump, thus explaining why my bag volume looked the same...because it was. *Dumb* Thankfully, it was change of shift.

*no harm was done, before someone blasts me. Fluid was a *just because* order, so we'd have the line in if she went into labor and I was given "permission" to saline lock her if she got up and walked. I could have left her IV site saline locked or hooked fluid back up, and she was a little on the dehydrated side and I figured the fluid wouldn't hurt her.