12.26.2007

Active Labor

"We got a pediatric BVM?"
"Yeah."
"Alright...what about the IV boxes; all sealed?"
"Yep, both sealed."
"OB kits?"
"Two of 'em, not like we ever need them," I say with a wink. I hear the pre-alert go out, and we stop checking off the rig to listen.
"Station 1, active labor." My partner glares at me.
"Really, Sam? Didja have to go ahead and jinx us like that?" I jump out of the back and look for the medic.
"John, I'm going on this." As the daughter of an OB/GYN, long-time volunteer in the birth center, and employee at an OB/GYN's practice, I feel confident that I could deliver a baby.
"Oh thank God," he says, "I really didn't want to take another guy."
As we climb back into the ambulance, I text my dad.
"Might deliver a baby!" I receive a prompt "Holy S," in reply, and I chuckle to myself, double-gloving in anticipation.
We arrive to the local meat packing plant to find a woman who is 28 weeks pregnant and has contractions five minutes apart. I hold my breath, wondering what I got myself into. Me? Deliver a baby? I must turn a bit pale, because John leans over and asks if I'm alright.
"Oh, yeah, doing great!"
En route, John starts an IV and I time contractions. 5 minutes. 3 minutes. A minute and a half. 20 seconds.
I check to see how dilated she is as John bashfully pretends he's talking to the driver. She's not. She's not dilated. Beautiful.
My hand goes numb every twenty seconds as she squeezes the life out of it.
"Just keep breathing, you're doing great."
"She's not due for another three months," she groans as she attacks my hand once more. Through her contractions, I try to figure out her Gravida/Para numbers, but give up each time she screams. As we roll into the delivery suite, the nurse starts asking questions I don't have time for.
"Who is she?"
"Melinda Saunders, John gave that in report."
"Well what are her G/P numbers?" I groan as I try to help our patient into her gown.
"She's only ever delivered here. They should be on file."
"But what are her numbers?" Melinda drops her jewelry on the floor, and I see her diamond ring slide under the toilet.
"I. Don't. Know." I do not have time for this, and neither does she, I think as crawl around on my knees trying to recover the escapee ring.
"She's only 28 weeks?"
"Yes, I know."
"Well this is too early."
"Yes. I know."
"How dilated is she?" With my patient grabbing the bathroom railings as another contraction happens, and my ass sticking straight up in the air indecently, I sigh. Did this woman pay any attention to the report?
"She's not dilated."
"What?"
"She's. Not. Dilated," I repeat as I stand back up, handing Melinda her ring. Attempting to help her move the IV through her clothes and back through the hospital gown, I hear the nurse open her mouth again.
"Here," John says as he presses the PPCR to her chest, "it's all here." Thank God for helpful partners, I think as I help Melinda into her bed.
"Well, I just have to go talk to the doctor about this," says the nurse as she leaves the room, having obvious difficultly moving, what with the stick lodged firmly up her backside.
"Need anything, Melinda," I ask, letting her squeeze my hand again.
"A new nurse," she says through a smile. "What's your name again?"
"Sam. Samantha."
"Did you know it means name of God?"
"Oh wow, no, I didn't."
"Yeah, my mom was named Samantha; she never let us forget its meaning." I smile, and she lets go of my hand.
"Thanks, Samantha."
"Of course."
"You're really good at this stuff." I laugh and thank her as we head for the door.
"She wants ice chips," I say to the nurse as she comes back in the room, "and a softer pillow." She smiles at me through another contraction, and I can't help but giggle and I see the nurse put her hands on her hips and blow the bangs out of her face.

4 comments:

Alaina said...

I love this post!!

Epijunky said...

"You're really good at this stuff."

She's right. That's all I have to say.

AnniforsciA said...

Hehehe yay I agree with my girl Alaina. <3

Scott said...

You get to ride in the back as an EMT-B? In Cheyenne all the Basics do is drive the rig and there is a paramedic with the patient.