A beautiful disaster

It was tattooed on her side.

She came to the OR for a hysterotomy. A what?

I’ve been doing this job for more than 21 years and I still haven’t seen it all.

A hysterotomy is basically a c-section for fetal demise, death of an infant. Nobody wants to do the case. Everybody wants to do the case. The air is filled with a strange mixture of shock, sadness, and shameful curiosity. Like a car wreck we just can’t turn away from.

I volunteer to help, offer encouragement to the team. I’ve been around the tragedy block more than some, having a huge number of years of experience doing trauma surgery. I don’t panic when the entire blood volume of a patient ends up on the floor. God made me hard as nails for trauma.

And so she arrives to the OR. The story is just tragic. Young girl. Addicted to crack cocaine since the age of 14. 14! Inconsistent stories about what happened in the middle of the night. Mom having a seizure. Dad calling 9-1-1. Mom saying she fell on dad after seizure. Dad saying he found mom having seizure. Blood pressure of 50. It’s all too sketchy, too shady.

Mom refuses to be induced. She can’t face the death. She’s in too much pain. She doesn’t want to see her infant. Dad won’t let mom out of his sight. Dad doesn’t want to see his infant either. So the hysterotomy.

That’s when it gets worse. Mom has a belly full of blood clots. There has been trauma. The uterus was intact. The amniotic sac was intact. A perfect, beautiful baby girl was delivered to be given to the medical examiner. Ten fingers. Ten toes. No reason to die except for the lack of blood flow caused by hypovolemic shock.

As I run in and out of the room to grab supplies, test tubes for bloodwork, to send for blood, I cry out God! Please RESCUE this girl! Open her eyes to her self destruction! Set her free from this prison of drug addiction, abuse, slow suicide! Thank you for bringing your sweet baby princess home!

At one point I stop to hug the nurse I’m helping. She’s younger than myself. Not used to trauma. Trying not to let the tears overtake her. This is why I hate working with babies, she says. You can’t let the tears overtake you. If you do, you could drown.

In the end, the surgeons weren’t sure where all the blood came from? They suspect a fractured spleen. The only One who knows completely what happened is God. And he must have some amazing plan for this girl because If she had gone into labor, it would have killed her!

Please pray with me for this situation. Let’s pray this beautiful disaster becomes beautiful restoration! Nothing is impossible for God!

His… Michelle


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