March, 1982- 11 p.m.-Labor & Delivery
Mary Lou, our assistant nurse manager, wrote our assignments for the night shift on the large white board at the nursing station after we listened to report from the evening shift. We only had 5 women in labor so far, so she gave me Helen in the birthing room and the first admission. Helen had 2 children at home, was 28 years old, and was dilated 5 cm (halfway). She was at 37 weeks gestation, which was technically 3 weeks early, but typically the baby would have mature lungs and be over 5 pounds in weight.
I walked into the birthing room and introduced myself to Helen and her husband, Mike. Helen was a pretty blond lady with large blue eyes. Her dark haired handsome husband seemed quite attentive to her. She looked exhausted from labor and being pregnant. As a contraction began, she began to do her Lamaze breathing as Mike held her hand. I placed my hand on her swollen abdomen to feel the strength of the contraction.
After it let up, I asked, “Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?” Helen replied, “No, Dr. J. doesn’t believe in doing ultrasounds if the pregnancy is normal. We already have a boy and a girl at home, so we’re ready for either.” I checked her blood pressure which was normal, and then did an internal exam. The amniotic sac of water around the baby had not broken yet, so we were not yet monitoring the baby’s heart beat internally. She was further along now.
I looked at the external monitor strip which recorded a normal heart rate and variation at an average of 130 beat per minute. I wrote my assessment and initials on the monitor strip, and said to Helen and Mike, “I’m going to call Dr. J at home and tell him to come in. You will probably deliver in the next hour.” Helen groaned and began her breathing as another contraction started. I left the room, wrote my new assessment on the white board, and called Dr. J. and then assessed another patient in labor whose nurse was in the delivery room.
When I returned to Helen’s room, I found Dr. J with her. He was in his scrubs, and said he just broke her water. Since she was fully dilated, he told her to start pushing. As this was her third baby, she would probably deliver quickly. I pressed the call light and asked the tech, Theresa, to come in and assist. I removed the bottom of the birthing bed, put Helen’s heels in the stirrups, raised the head of the bed, and gave her the steel handles on each side of the bed to grip. Theresa wheeled the sterile table out of the closet and uncovered the instruments so they were all ready for Dr. J.
Helen gave 3 pushes, and the baby’s head crowned, covered with blond hair. Dr. J told her to push gently, and a perfectly formed baby girl slipped into his hands. He suctioned out her mouth, she grimaced, and let out a nice cry. The beautiful sound of that first cry never ceased to amaze me! I pulled the Apgar cord and wrote down the birth time: 11:50 p.m. Her one minute apgar was excellent at 8/10 as Dr. J. placed her in the warmer. She appeared to weigh about 5 pounds, which is slightly small for 37 weeks. I congratulated Helen and Mike on their new baby girl and rubbed her dry with the warmed blanket and put a cap on her head to help her retain her body heat.
As Dr. J massaged Helen’s abdomen to deliver the placenta, he said, “You have another baby in here, Helen. You’re having twins!” Helen immediately began to cry and said, “Oh no, how will we ever pay for another baby?” Mike turned pale. My heart quickened as twins are always a high risk delivery, especially surprise twins. I had never delivered twins in the birthing room before, but it was too late now to move her to the delivery room. I pressed the call light and told the tech at the desk what was happening and asked her to get the resident in here and the Neonatal ICU nurse stat! The room quickly filled with extra staff so we barely had room to turn around.
Thankfully, the second baby was also head down and came out equally as easily 5 minutes later. She was also a girl! Dr. J placed her next to her sister in the warmer and we quickly dried her off. She also had excellent Apgar scores and appeared to weigh around 5 pounds. We handed one girl to Helen and the other to Mike to hold, and they both seemed to relax a little as they began to get over their shock of having not one, but TWO new babies!
I silently prayed that Helen and Mike would realize that God could give them His love, strength, and finances in Christ Jesus if they would only trust Him. I thought of many childless Christian couples who would absolutely love to raise those beautiful twin girls in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Children are so precious to God because He creates all of us.
Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Happy is the man who s his quiver full of them… Psalm 127:3, 5
The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice, and he that begets a wise child shall have joy of him. Your father and your mother shall be glad, and she that bore you shall rejoice. Proverbs 23:24-25
After I woke up the next afternoon, I was glad it was my day off, giving me some extra time to think and pray. I continued to pray for the new twins to be healthy and receive Christ as Savior at a young age. Sometimes it’s difficult to be content and be single since most of my friends are married and having children. I wonder if God will ever give me a husband and children? I know His will for me today is to simply fix my eyes on Him and be content. I opened my Bible and read,
Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, in this to be content. Philippians 4:11
It always encourages me to read this and think of the great Apostle Paul who God used to write these words. Apparently he was a widower during the last part of his life and had to learn contentment also. I decided to get out my cassette tape on “Social Relationships” by Dr Stephen Olford to review Biblical principles of companionship, comradeship, courtship, and singleness. I always feel better after listening to it. Especially when he says, “You dear young people, if God wants you to marry, He will NEVER allow you to miss meeting your life partner!”
Dear Lord, Help me to rest in You in sweet contentment and just live one day at a time. Thank you that I am single today and that Your ways are so much higher than my ways and that You make no mistake. Amen.
I was thrilled to find Dr. Olford’s message at the following link:
I think every single person and parent would greatly benefit and be encouraged by this message. The Lord has allowed me to continue to be single. I no longer fear being single as I did when I was younger, because God has been so kind and gracious to me over the years and has provided for my every need. I praise Him for His precious gift of contentment.
Some years ago, God guided me to the wonderful verse in Isaiah 54:1
Sing. O barren, you who did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who did not travail with child; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says the Lord.
After I read this verse, the Lord showed me that there was no limit to the number of spiritual children I could have. How wonderful!
Next week I will continue with the next surprise of that very busy night in Labor and Delivery.