Today’s post is all about the technicality of Childbirth. If you do not like bloody stuff, like me, then feel free to close the page now, otherwise, please proceed. I would like to shout-out to Drs Folajimi – @FolaRedDevil, Azeez – @R_Oyetola and Deola who seems to have absconded from twitter… They provided all the technical stuff. Thanks guys, y’all rock. Now, for today’s post….
Kemi was having a bad day. She had been upset when she walked into the hospital complex that morning. For the life of her, she couldn’t divine why, as she undressed and changed into her gown, she pondered, searching for the reason behind her current state of mind but hadn’t come up with any logical explanation.
Then she had been assigned gynaecological duty to assist Doctor Fred in delivery. It seemed like a routine call: in and out of delivery, clean the baby and hand it over duty. Then the complications started.
Mrs Iyanda had gotten into the hospital in the early hours of the day. She had been given fluids, and then administered epidural butorphanol as anaesthetic to relieve her pain and prepare her for delivery. She had been in the hospital for more than three hours when Kemi started her shift and relieved the previous nurse of her duty.
She introduced herself to Mrs Iyanda and wheeled her from the ward to the delivery room. They shared pleasant stories and both were at peace. The exercise would take less than an hour and they would all be out of the place.
Mrs Iyanda was already having frequent cramps and had started breathing out loudly through her mouth. Kemi wheeled her into the delivery room and prepared all the tools needed for delivery. She stroked Mrs Iyanda’s head and smiled at the woman.
‘Don’t worry ma’m this would be over in a bit.’
Mrs Iyanda smiled back nervously. The cramp she felt didn’t allow her to be jovial. She recalled her first delivery and how she had reacted when a nurse tried to calm her down. No! She shook her head, she was welcoming her third child ergo her calmness.
‘Thanks dear. I can’t wait to hold him in my hands. I’m almost giddy,’ she had a broad smile on her face. The baby kicked again and she winced sharply.
Both women laughed.
Dr Fred came in then, smiled at the women then proceeded to the tools stand to examine his gear. Once done, he clapped his hands in anticipation then asked Mrs Iyanda, ‘are you ready to do this?’
‘Good. It’s time.’ He moved close to her after casting a side glance at Kemi who tapped Mrs Iyanda’s thigh indicating that the woman needed to open her legs and set them gingerly on the foot rest attached to the bed.
Doctor Fred bent low and proceeded to examine her and check if he could see the child’s head. He didn’t have to probe, the baby was eager to leave lonely abode and interact with others.
‘Right,’ he said raising his head. ‘It’s time; you know the drill, push!’
It was the command Mrs Iyanda had been waiting for all morning. Her face became a tight grimace as her muscles contracted while she pushed hard.
Still bent, the doctor gave her a thumb up and advised. ‘We’re almost there. Again, push!’
Mrs Iyanda pushed harder than she had the first time. Her thighs quaked, her body convulsed and it took a few seconds for her to normalise.
Kemi dabbed the sweat beads that had formed on Mrs Iyanda’s forehead with cotton swabs and placed a calming hand on her shoulder. She had a look of empathy on her face that reassured the expectant mother that the worst was soon to be over.
‘Once more, let’s do this. Push!’ The doctor demanded.
Mrs Iyanda gathered all the strength she could muster and pushed with every ounce of energy in her body. Still, the baby refused to leave its abode. It suddenly seemed like the child that could not wait to leave was having second thoughts about mingling.
Doctor Fred raised his head and observed Mrs Iyanda; he was about asking her to have another crack at it when he noticed that she was shivering more than was necessary. He would have dismissed it but when he looked in her eyes, what he saw induced a spine tingling fear in him. He looked at Kemi who had already set about to revive the woman who seemed to have fainted.
Damn! He thought, now this just got complicated. ‘Did you administer the correct doses of fluids and epidural?’ The question came of its own volition.
‘Yes doctor, I checked, and nurse Aina had given her all the required dosage.’ Kemi replied as she worked furiously to set up the intravenous fluids and attach it to cannulas on the back of Mrs Iyanda’s hand. Once done, she lowered the bed and readjusted the dials. Immediately Mrs Iyanda was wheeled to the operating room.
Doctor Fred raced with the gurney as it was wheeled and changed his gloves preparatory to the caesarean procedure that had now become expedient. Doctor Ismail, an anaesthetic was on hand to administer pain killing IVs to the woman. They all worked furiously as though they were possessed. Doctor Fred picked up the surgical knives he needed for the operation and examined them. He was waiting for doctor Ismail’s okay in order to proceed. Good thing the hospital required couples to sign a CS agreement whenever they registered for ante-natal services. He knew he would have performed the operation first before trying to get a signed consent if there wasn’t already one.
Doctor Fred dropped the knives and waited. Everything depended on speed, and he needed the anaesthetic administered quickly. Doctor Ismail took his precious time though pausing at intervals in order not to rush the dosage and create a problem for the patient. Doctor Fred had become antsy looking at his colleague work. He wanted time with the woman already, so as to be able to aid the delivery and guarantee their wellbeing; Doctor Ismail wasn’t making that easy on him. He checked his watch again.
Finally, Doctor Ismail stepped away allowing Doctor Fred commence the procedure. First, Doctor Fred checked her vitals, he knew hypotension had set in and since he could see the baby, the amniotic fluids were out too. Dilly dallying would only make the delivery a bad statistic. He closed his eyes, exhaled and then picked up the surgical knives. It was time to begin.
He worked quickly and precisely, making a pfannesteil incision on the abdomen to expose the uterus, then he proceeded to extract the baby and its umbilical cord. When he was done extracting, having handed over the child to Kemi; then he began stitching the mother back up.
He was almost done when the shout from the hallway distracted him. They would later learn that it was Nurse Feyi. He turned around for less than two seconds and unwittingly cut her again. He shrugged as he watched the blood gush out from her uterus.
He cut through the thread he had just weaved, till he located the cut. Then he restarted the process all over again sewing her up. This time, his focus was unwavering and he was done an hour later. He cut the thread, dropped the surgical needle and removed his gloves. The he proceeded out of the delivery room. He couldn’t wait to put some distance between him and his near failure.
Kemi cleaned up after him, cursing herself for not having the good sense to go to school to study medicine. An hour later, she wheeled Mrs Iyanda back into the ward. Her son was already in the crib waiting for its mother.
When she was done, Kemi went to the nurses’ station. Exhausted, she sank into the chair there and dozed off. She had been asleep for all of twenty minutes when she jerked awake. In her confused state, she looked a hilarious sight as she opened her mouth in horror, watching as emergency patients were rushed into the hospital. Kemi sank back into her chair dejected.