Tuesday, August 03, 2004


One time when I was at Casa de Nacimiento for an extended period of time, Sarah came to visit and I asked her to watch me work. Of course, everyone loved Sarah and she even assisted a couple births (those stories later). This one however, had happened in the middle room and there were a lot of Interns there, the midwives, and me catching... and some family. Probably 8 or 9 others besides the mom in this small room. The Interns (and Sarah) were against the wall as they are instructed to be, just to watch... no talking.

The woman is having her baby... nice and gentle... me talking softly in Spanish... and the baby is born and goes up onto her belly as we do. We are sitting and waiting for the placenta... the family yacking and giggling and looking at the baby and the mom tells me she feels like she has to push again. Great! No problem. When you feel that again, go ahead and push.

A contraction comes and I am waiting patiently for her placenta (something I wasn't often allowed to do) and, as she pushes, a HUGE HUGE explosion of blood comes projectile-ing out of her vagina... splashes all over me and around me... and hits the wall behind me (about 4 feet away!) where the Interns were standing! Sarah, right behind me, has reflexes like an animal and ducked out of the way of the exploding blood. I, on the other hand, was covered, from head to thighs. My glasses were dripping, my nametag was full, my pen had blood inside it... and I could not move before making sure she was fine. She was perfectly fine! So, another midwife took over so I could go change.

Sarah came with me to the other side and began peeling the clothes and items off in the bathroom while I stood in the shower. We laughed and laughed about how strange that was, but how cool she felt perfectly fine even with that much blood.

Then, Sarah reminded me that earlier in the day, another woman whose baby I caught, had lost less than a teaspoon during her birth and the birth of the placenta. She kept the same chux throughout the actual births! Unheard of.

Sarah says to me in a quizzical way: Interesting the variations on the norm for blood loss during a birth.

Interesting, indeed.

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