Wild Cat Birthing
Every once in a while you enter a delivery room and just know that you are doomed. Something about seeing a pregnant naked teenager hunkered wild-eyed up against the wall at the top of the bed just tips you off. I entered such a room today and the goat rodeo was in full swing. The baby daddy and the girl’s mom were yelling “Push! PUUUUUSSHH!” and trying all manner of ineffectual pushing urgings which the feral girl did not even register. They had had her pulling on a towel in an attempt to get her to bear down in the appropriate place, which was in her bottom and not in her head as she imagined.
When I walked in, she was yelling, “GIVE ME SOME MORE SPRIIIITE!” which struck me as an odd thing to say when a baby’s head is half out. There were two nurses in the room trying to help each other through this awful mess. Each one held a leg. Instead of gracefully dropping her legs back and open as the girl had been asked, she was shoving her legs straight out and threatening to crush the baby’s head between them. She was pushing so hard, intermittently, that her naked bottom with half a hairy baby head protruding from it was waving up and down in the air. Alternately, she would bring her knees together and threaten to slam them on the baby’s head again. The two nurses were fighting her with everything they had.
The girl’s momma was yelling, “You got to get it out, baby, you gonna hurt him!” and the baby daddy was hollering, “Get yore LEGS back! Pull on this TOWEL!” The nursery nurse was hollering at her to get off the baby’s head. The nurses were hollering at her to get her legs back and PUSH. And the poor ward clerk was actually in there attempting to give her some more Sprite in hopes that that might calm her down.
She finally managed, despite her wild-eyed bucking, to get the baby’s head out. Then of course the baby’s shoulders stuck. A shoulder dystocia is a possible emergency even in a calm environment and we REALLY had to get her legs back, no fooling. I had a nurse pushing just above her pelvic bone to try to get the shoulders to rotate. The girl was screaming, hollering, fighting. To my relief the shoulders rotated and came on out. THANK GOD the baby was out! After a little rubbing and stimulation he started to scream, having survived the squeezing and pushing fairly unperturbed.
“Now I want Sprite,” my patient said. “Was I bad, Doctor?” I told her with as much sense of humor as I could muster that she was quite the wildcat and I wouldn’t want to meet her in a dark alley. Fortunately, she needed very few stitches and she actually submitted to them without too much fuss. “Did I hurt the baby?” she wanted to know. We reassured her that the baby seemed to be fine. We got her cleaned up and united with her baby, and I escaped from the room.
Outside at the nurse’s station, the nurse who had been in the room helping was shaking her head. “I haven’t had a wild delivery like that in YEARS,” she said. “I think I actually hurt my back trying to get her legs in position. WOW is she strong!” I shook my head. “Well,” she said. “I’m off to get her some SPRIIIIITE!”