Thursday, March 25, 2010

See Section

Two weeks ago I was priviledged to watch a Cesarean Section birth. And it was marvalously fascinating.

This residency year has been so much more than I could've expected in many ways, and part of that is because I've been able to observe an autopsy, a circumcision, 3 surgeries, and now a C-section.

Here's how it all went down (or should I say came out).

First of all, L&D (Labor and Delivery) is 99% female in their staff (and patients). So, as soon as I arrived that morning at 7:30 I was out of place and recieved more than a few curious looks from passers by as I stood gowned in the full body "bunny suit" like painters wear. I also had on a surgical hat thingy, shoe coverings and mask which alerted me to the fact that my breath was not too pleasant. (*Note, have a mint before visiting patients).

As I entered, mom was having the epidural: a series of large and long needles injected into her spine. This was the worst part of it all. She didn't react at all; however, I winced every time a needle was inserted. I confess there was a moment when I wondered if I'd see my breakfast again.

When the doc entered he got straight to business, cutting the skin open carefully and then pealing and cutting back the other layers of flesh and fatty tissue. All the sudden, there was the uterus, or the little baby hotel as it was explained to me in my early years. Smooth and slimy it looked near the size of a basketball.

One quick motion and it was cut open. Quickly, a river of watery amniotic fluid rushed out as if the dam just broke. Seconds later the doctor was pulling on something suctioned to the baby's head, and poof, there was a whole new person in the room.

By this point, only about 10 minutes had gone by. Mom wanted her tubes tied (which the doc said was "bad for business"), so after sewing up the uterus the doctor pulled the whole thing out and set it on her stomach. She was literally inside out! The tube tying went quickly and is exactly what it sounds like. He tied two pieces of string tight around each filopian tube and cut out the section in between. That was it.

Fifteen minutes of sewing her up and all was done. The whole thing lasted about 45 minutes start to finish. Mom and dad were elated. Mom cried and dad, with camera ready, was taking pictures of the first purple, then pink little life that had entered our world. The best part was watching these parents enjoy the sight of their new dear little beloved.

It was amazing. Getting to see a C-section forced me to sit and simply be astounded by the miracle of life, and how all of the millions of little things that need to grow and develop in just the right way all happened perfectly to produce this bundle of joy.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. -Psalm 139:14


Vicki Hesse said...

what's so different about your being "...gowned in the full body "bunny suit" ?

oh yea, normally your ears aren't flopping.

marvelous post - thank you

Erin Miller said...

I can't wait until some one checks in to Heather's little baby motel!