I attended my first STAT c-section two days ago. It was a young lady with a term gestation, but the baby presented as a footling breech (the baby was positioned legs first, one of the legs was already out, and it was rapidly losing blood supply). We rushed to the OR expecting the worst, and miraculously, within 10 minutes, we had not one, but two healthy, pink, and crying babies on the warmer! Mother had looked more pregnant than anticipated, but given a lack of prenatal care, it was not certain that she was indeed carrying twins. The children survived what could have been a disastrous entrance into the world, and have been thriving ever since. That was a high.
That same evening, one of our late preterm infants who had been making strides towards recovery - a 36 wk old male, now 10 days old, with suspected neonatal sepsis - developed acute respiratory failure. Despite our best efforts at resuscitation, the child passed. The mother's pregnancy had been complicated by placenta accreta, and she underwent a hysterectomy to prevent fatal hemorrhage at the time of delivery. She wept and wrestled that evening, not understanding why she had been lead to hope, seeing her child's daily improvement, only to have it dashed, and knowing now that she will never have another child. That was a true low.
This morning, I returned to the nursery, and shamefully, wanted nothing more than to avoid contact with the bereaved mother. I did not want to become emotionally engaged, did not feel able to share with her in her loss. She called me over to her bedside when she saw me enter the room. My heart stopped. I took a deep breath and walked over to her. I opened my mouth to give her my condolences, but before I could speak, she said to me: thank you for trying your hardest. You all worked to save my baby. You did everything you could, but it was God's plan.
I often do not understand why things work out the way they do; I have no comprehension of God's decisions. However, I know that God is the God of comfort, and that He is sovereign, and that His plan is much better than the plans that I could make. I am eternally grateful for that.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-5