Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A quiet night

NPC 24 weeks, FDIU. Ominous words appearing on the monitor screen listing the patients in the birthing center.

NPC - no prenatal care at 24 weeks gestation. That's not terribly uncommon in our part of town. Some of our moms show up for their first prenatal visit fully dilated at term.

FDIU - fetal death in utero.

The nurse from the birthing center called for our help. The baby had died some time prior to 24 weeks and she needed a more accurate weight than they could get on their scales. Could she use one of our scales?

Sure, come on over.

340 grams - about 11 ounces.

Do you think the baby has some kind of syndrome?

He looks pretty odd, but he was breech and the cervix had trapped the head for over an hour.

No, I don't think it's a syndrome, but I don't think we should take pictures for the mom to keep either.

We need some kind of memento. Footprints?

Tiny footprints - and perfect palmprints. Both smaller than my fingertip. Think she'll notice that I missed a toe on that left foot?

Probably. Now I wish we'd tried again. It was a quiet night.

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