42 years old. 10 pregnancies. No babies. Mary came to the OB ward 8 wks before her due date. She had lost 9 babies—some before birth due to bleeding or high blood pressures, some within the first day of life. She came begging us to save this one. Her blood pressure was high, and the baby was measuring small, but we admitted her to the hospital and started her on medications, including one to help her baby's lungs mature more quickly, in the extremely likely event of a pre-term delivery. After a day and a half of these medications, I did an ultrasound to look at the baby. The fluid was low, a sure sign that the placenta was starting to fail. The heartbeat was there, but no movements, despite watching for almost 30 minutes. We decided it was time.
The baby boy came out limp and floppy. As I watched the peds team work on him, I felt a growing dread—once more, we had waited too long. Mary would not be a mother, for the 10th time. But he was alive for now, and he was transferred to Eric's care in the nursery. The first few days, things did not look good. But little by little, the little boy began to improve. He started to feed, to grow, to breathe room air.
Last week, 30 days after delivery, Baby Gift (Mary's name for him) was discharged in good condition. What a blessing to be able to watch this miracle to take place! It was a double victory, as Eric and I cared for this mother and child on both ends of the spectrum.