Copyright© 2020 by UtIdArWa
It was still dark when Miko started shaking me. “Missy come quick. You are needed at hospital.”
I had become used to emergencies during my various rotations in my residency. I quickly threw a robe on and followed Miko to the hospital. Rather Miko followed me. My longer legs had given me the advantage.
When I came into the emergency room, the nurse on duty directed me to the maternity ward. When I arrived, I could hear the sounds of a woman in pain.
Standing in the lobby was Sergeant Slocum. He was looking at me with panic in his eyes. “Doc, it’s too early. The babies too early.”
I grabbed Slocum’s arms and gave him a shake. “Sergeant get ahold of yourself. Now is not the time to lose it. You need to be brave for Susan. You need to give her your strength. I’ll do everything I can, but you need to keep it together for her. You can do that, can’t you?”
The wild panicky look in his eyes slowly faded. “Ok, Doc, I guess I kind of lost it there for a moment.”
“It’s alright, Sergeant. Now give me a minute or two with Susan, and we’ll get down to business, ok?”
While I was calming Slocum down, I saw that Wheaton and Sergeant Major Young had entered the room. Concern written on their faces. I motioned them over and handed Slocum over to them.
Then I turned to the business at hand. Coming into the birthing room, I found several women. Among them was the duty nurse Agnes.
I had met Agnes and was impressed with her knowledge. Also, in the room was Isabel Suarez. She was the senior midwife on the staff. Immediately my confidence went up.
On the bed was Susan Slocum. Her face was drenched with sweat, and her hair soaked. She appeared to be right in the middle of a powerful contraction. Her face was contorted in pain.
I stepped over to the washbasin and pulled on a surgical gown. Then I started washing my hands and arms. My training had stressed the value of cleanliness. As I was doing this, I asked Agnes and Isabel for a report.
Agnes replied, “Earlier this evening, Susan said that she was feeling some cramping. But she denied any discomfort. I knew that she was having difficulties with the pregnancy, so I kept a close eye on her. Then about 2 hours ago, I heard her loudly groan in pain. That’s when I called Isabel in. Then about 30 minutes ago, the contractions got worse. She is fully dilated now, but there’s some problem. The baby isn’t crowning.”
I stepped up to the bed and looked down into Susan’s eyes. I could see the fear and panic in her eyes. “Well, hello, Susan, we meet again. It seems your baby has decided it’s time. Let’s see what’s going on.” I spoke in low and reassuring tones smiling and trying as hard as I could to give Susan and, by extension, Agnes and Isabel confidence and reassurance.
As I started to palpitate Susan’s abdomen, I quickly concluded that the baby was breach and was aimed the wrong way. “Susan, this is the problem. Normally babies come head first. This little one seems to be contrary. And is coming feet first. This isn’t a problem I’ve dealt with this before. Be patient, and we’ll bring your baby home.”
For the next 30 minutes, I was able to bring that child into the world. Fortunately, Hippocrates smiled on me, and both mother and child survived. I had the pleasure of placing the baby in Susan’s arms and bringing the father in.
“Sergeant Slocum, may I introduce you to your new son. A fine strong and as you can hear, loud child. Now seeing as how we have the parents together, what is the little nubbin’s name?”
Slocum had stepped up to the head of the bed and was gently caressing his wife’s cheek. He looked up at the assembled crowd. All of which were grinning at him. “His name is Andrew. Andrew Jacob Slocum.” everybody in the room started clapping.
Exhausted, I stepped from the room. Colonel Anderson and Doctor Blanchard met me. “Very well-done Doctor.” Colonel Anderson said as he shook my hand. Julian quickly replaced him. “Couldn’t have done better myself, Louise. Now get some sleep. I’ll handle your rounds tomorrow.”
“No, that’s alright, Doctor. I’ve spent several sleepless nights before. It’s about time for reveille now, isn’t it, Colonel?”
Colonel Anderson pulled a pocket watch out and consulted it. “You are right, Doctor. How about we head to the dining hall and be first in line for breakfast?”
I could see the conspiratorial glint in Julian’s eye. “That sounds like a winner. However, I have to beg off. I have a prior commitment this morning. Something I must see to. You two go ahead without me. If I get the time and can break away, I’ll join you.”