Helping birth life into this world, I have felt hot and cold and more emotions than humanly possible. Excitement with the first time mom swings to despair for the preterm demise back to the thrill of delivery. The up-down’s of waiting and watching, watching and waiting. Though the whole thing never quite lives up to movie scenes, obstetrics is a mathematical phenomenon. At one point, you are following one patient. Two hours later, two patients, two lives to cheer on, two for rejoicing over, and on occasion, two times the grief.
I mourned alongside a mom this evening. We’d recently met at her routine pregnancy appointment during which I had the privilege of detecting fetal heart tones. Qwuirrrr-kish-qwuirrrrrr-kish-qwuirr-kish went the little pump inside my first prenatal patient with her first kid. We giggled. When the patient’s familiar face presented to the ER a week later, my pulse quickened. I followed mom and the lab results day by day until–irregardless of circumstance, choice or understanding–the little heart met its maker.
It’s kinda weird, this feeling of utter helplessness.
You thought if you could just translate the specialists’ plans or stand guard 24-7 or focus your prayers falling asleep after a 16 hour night while the rest of the world awakens–then maybe things would have turned out differently. But tonight, you sat uncomfortably at the patient’s bedside across from the best friend and the mother. With her hair mopped up in a scrub cap, your patient told you how grateful she was. She praised God for his strength and faith to be content. Having been told for years that she would never get pregnant, she was a mother no matter how long or short. Now her baby was healthy in heaven.
Tears welled up. And this time, the patient gathered my hands in hers thanking me for stopping by each day. Like sisters we hugged and as sisters in Christ are wont to do, we prayed. Along with her best friend and her mother, we asked God who is more firm a foundation than emotion for strength, peace, renewal, rebirth.