A long time ago, in a hospital not so far away, a woman arrived in the Emergency Room with tiny feet protruding from her vagina. They were cold and blue. No heartbeat could be detected. They rushed her to Labor and Delivery.
Since there seemed to be no hurry, the OB attending decided that this would be a good opportunity to instruct the OB resident in pre-term breech delivery techniques. Since they didn't know when the tiny heart had stopped, they thought it wise to invite the NICU team to the delivery although our presence was not expected to change the outcome.
I was precepting a new nurse, and we went through all the motions of preparing an ET tube and drawing up the resus medications. We talked about the ABC's of neonatal resuscitation while the OB attending instructed his resident. The neonatologist planned to make an attempt at resuscitation, but really didn't expect success.
You've probably deduced by now that things didn't go exactly as predicted. The OB attending talked the resident through a perfect delivery, but what happened next surprised all of us.
The baby cried.
The OB resident quickly clamped and cut the umbilical cord before handing this vigorous, if somewhat bruised, 28 week infant over to us. I don't remember the details of his clinical course - it's been over 20 years - but I'll never forget that completely unexpected, but ever so welcome wail.