Friday, October 31, 2008

Katherine's Adventure

Katherine is my daughter-in-law, and she will be the first to tell you that she is not usually the preferred one to turn to in emergencies. She's the nervous type. When her husband isn't home, for example, she won't even open the front door.

So it was very odd, a couple of Thursday mornings ago, that a neighbor of hers did turn to her in an emergency, probably because Katherine is a stay-at-home mom and could more or less be counted upon to be there; and it was unusual that Kathy did actually open the door. She opened it because through a window she could see that her neighbor was hysterical.

Her houseguest, the neighbor said, had just delivered a baby on her bathroom floor.

Kathy grabbed her bathrobe, for it was still early in the morning, and slipped into some shoes, and went running across the street. And here, she says, is where being an obsessive-compulsive worrier paid off, because during her own pregnancy, she had studied every single thing that could possibly go wrong in childbirth, and had learned what to do if the baby arrived someplace other than at the hospital.

The first good thing, she says, is that as soon as she arrived, she could hear the baby screaming. Following the sound, she came to an upstairs bathroom, where a 28-year-old woman lay naked on the tiles, while on a bathmat, wrapped in a bloody towel, was a beautiful baby girl. The placenta hadn't yet been delivered; the baby was still attached to the mother by the cord.

Katherine called for a suction bulb, but told her neighbor, who wouldn't even venture into the bathroom, to call 911 first to confirm that she should suction out the baby's mouth. EMS said yes, do it. So she did, and wrapped the baby in a clean towel. The mother, apparently in shock, never said a word.

Whether the baby was premature was the next thing Kathy decided needed to be determined. "How far along were you?" she asked.

Finally, the mother spoke: "I didn't even know I was pregnant!"

The other thing was to be sure the mother was kept flat, in hopes the afterbirth wouldn't be delivered yet, because, Kathy says, that is when complications can set in that can be dangerous. She prayed it wouldn't happen yet.

EMS arrived and delivered the placenta and that's about the time it occurred to Katherine that she hadn't been wearing gloves. Who knew what blood-borne diseases the mother and/or child might have? Apparently, that's when her nervous nature, which she had (heroically, if you ask me) kept at bay until then, slammed her and she had to call her husband to come home and be with her. But of course, that idea would have rattled anybody.

At last report, mother and baby (7.5 pounds) were doing well, and both tested negative for HIV-AIDS and hepatitis.

Mark said he was just relieved Kathy didn't bring the baby home! I said that was the only part I rather regretted.


DebD said...

wow! What an amazing story. It sounds like they called on the right person though. Hurray for Katherine.

Michelle M. said...

Oh my goodness! What a story! I can't believe how well Katherine handled herself; I do not think I could have been that calm

Grace said...

NO WAY. I thought I had crazy neighbors!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yes, hurray for Katherine indeed! I know I wouldn't have had the first idea what to do, other than call 911.

Grace, you're right, NO WAY! Nobody believes the mother didn't know she was pregnant. In fact, we suppose that is why she was visiting Katherine's neighbors, to give birth away from wherever she lived before.

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