December 25, 1981 – 2 a.m. Labor & Delivery Staff Nurse
I finished my night shift orientation in September and am feeling much more comfortable in my skills. Since this is my first Christmas in Labor & Delivery, I am required to work. Management assigned me to be the charge nurse since the Assistant Nurse Manager is off tonight.
I glanced at the large whiteboard in the nurse’s station with each patient’s name, stage of labor, and doctor. We still had six women in labor with four empty labor rooms. The busy evening shift called me to come in early at 9:30 p.m. to help with four deliveries before midnight. The fetal monitors displayed each baby’s heart rate. Suddenly one baby’s heart rate dropped to 50 and stayed there, dangerously low compared to a normal heart rate of 120-160 beats per minute. Nurse Cathy stuck her head out the door of the woman’s room and yelled, “Call the doctor and nurse anesthetist, Pam! We have to do a stat C section (surgery). This baby is in trouble.”
The operating room technician ran to the prepared operating room (OR) while I called the doctors. The nursing assistant helped Cathy wheel the huge bed down the hall to the O.R. As soon as the anesthesiologist put the mom to sleep he said, “Go ahead.” The resident doctor cut her abdomen and lifted the baby out of her womb. He cut the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around the baby girl’s neck and carried her to the warmer. Ironically, her own life-giving cord had choked her as she came down the birth canal. I suctioned out her mouth and placed the oxygen mask over her tiny face. As I rubbed her limp body dry she took several gasps of air. I silently prayed, “Dear Lord, Please touch this baby girl’s body.” She let out a cry and the delivery room staff exhaled a sigh of relief. Her body began to turn pink. The Neonatal ICU nurse rushed into the room and wheeled the infant girl down the hallway to ICU keep a close eye on her until she stabilized.
The babies born that early Christmas morning are now adults and likely have their own children. I wonder what kind of life choices they have made? They share the same birthday when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I pray each has chosen to receive Him as their personal Savior.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11