So there I was…sitting at the triage desk…anxiously awaiting what might come through those doors next. All of a sudden, one of the valet attendants comes running through the doors…”there’s someone having a baby out here!” Yeah, that’s what they all say- still I grab a wheelchair and run.
When I come around the corner- I see her, she’s standing in the entrance, legs slightly apart, with a look of anxiety mixed with- a strange calm. As I run to her with the wheelchair I see what appears to be a bump in the crotch of her sweats…this might be the real thing!
I run as fast as possible with the wheelchair- straight back to a room. A few nurses and a doc are casually walking into the room as we approach. The usual emergency room OB patient is- alright, let’s have a look, and then if OB can’t get down fast enough, once in a while we’ll deliver a baby.
As I get her off the wheelchair, she says, “there’s a baby in my pants!” Uh-oh…I yank her sweats and underwear down to reveal the baby’s head, fully out! Now I’m really amped up…I don’t even have gloves on, but I’m asking myself, “Do I need to pull this thing out or what?” I knew it wasn’t really my place and I didn’t really want to- but the doc wasn’t ready yet and all systems were running on overdrive. I make the right choice- standby.
The doc inserts a couple fingers and feels for the cord- it’s around the babies neck. “Don’t push!” She tells the mother. The doctor just manages to stretch the cord over the babies head and whoosh, the baby is out and crying!
I can hear someone calling for suction but I’m standing there frozen- completely useless. The whole experience was overwhelming and amazed me as I thought later- that’s the most intense thing I’ve seen in the ER.
Seeing the birthing process for the first time, combined with the emergent rate at which it occurred, further amplified by the complication- made it incredibly surreal. The miracle of life!
There’s less than two months until my first child comes into this world. I don’t know if that experience helped me prepare at all but I do know one thing- I’m glad I’ll be off the clock!