One of our pregnant citizens had a successful vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC) this weekend. Not to take a single credit away from her, but this is the kind of event which takes a village to achieve. Here's why:
0500: The VBAC candidate arrived at Labor & Delivery in early active labor.
0730: Doc Super arrived to evaluate the candidate. There were some concerns about the fetal heart tones but he decided to keep an eye on the strip and continue the trial of labor.
0810: Super called me at home: "Heads up, Theresa," he said. "My VBAC patient is 6-7 centimeters, so I might have to get to clinic late. Can you get things started?" We have an informal arrangement to cover each other in case one of us is assigned to outreach clinic.
0815: I stagger out of bed after getting off the phone with Super. Reheat coffee and contemplate the loss of my morning off after a rough night of hospitalist coverage.
0900: Super calls back. "She's 9 centimeters, but I'm going to be here for a while. Can you get to outreach? When I'm done here, I'll relieve you."
0915: Undercaffeinated, I drove to clinic. Was mildly gratified to see the hardworking staff there, and they were relieved clinic didn't have to be cancelled. Everyone atwitter about the laboring woman at Gimbels.
0930: Before seeing the first patient, I called Labor & Delivery for an update: "She's almost completely dilated!"
1030: Three outreach patients seen. I call for another update. "She's complete, but not feeling any urge to push yet," the L&D nurse tells me. "Super is starting to coach." I returned to patients.
1130: Another update: "She's pushing well!" The news cheered me up. I returned to seeing patients with a bit of genuine vigor.
1230: Outreach was thankfully light. Before seeing the last patient, I called for another update. "The baby was just born, and Super is getting ready to repair a laceration," came the good news. I passed on the message to Super that outreach was finished, so he had no reason to rush.
1300: News of the successful VBAC is disseminated throughout clinic. I can hear cheers erupting down the hallway as I leave, strangely elated, at last.