Sunday March 13, 1988

13 Mar

Once upon a time there was a HUGE snowstorm.  It was so massive that no one could go out.  The roads were wet and slippery and it was too dangerous to drive.

There was a patient in the local hospital.  She was scheduled to have a c-section on Monday march 14.  She had been diagnosed with Placenta previa earlier in her pregnancy, and needed the section to successfully deliver her baby.  In those days it wasn’t common to have routine ultrasounds, but since this woman had delivered her last three children late, and her doctor was scheduled to go on vacation at the time this baby was due, they decided to confirm her dates.  That is when they found the complication, and made plans to have the woman enter hospital early in order to avoid a more serious complication such as Placenta abrupta.

That whole week, while she was confined to the hospital on bedrest, the woman carefully went over plans with her doctors.  What kind of anaesthesia, the date of the delivery etc.  She felt ready.  Her three other children were at home with their father, being cared for until she returned with the newest baby.

That night she woke up with a peculiar sensation.  She checked under the covers and promptly rang for the nurse.  She was covered in blood.  The worst had happened.  Her placenta had tore away for the uterine wall and she was hemorrhaging.  The nurse arrived and rang for help.  They knew they had to take the baby quickly, or risk losing them both.  But how?  Even if they paged the doctor and anaesthesiologist, there was no way they would arrive in time.  The page went out anyway, and they waited.

The doctor and anaesthesiologist rushed through the door moments later.  “How did you get here so quickly?” they exclaimed in wonder.  “The storm was so bad, we both decided to sleep here,” they replied.

The patient was quickly and unceremoniously prepped for surgery.  A little while later, a perfect little girl was wrenched from her mother’s body.  “It’s a good thing this patient was in hospital when this happened” commented one nurse.  “Neither one would have made it if they had had to drive in tonight”.

The next day I showed up at the hospital with my dad and sister and brother.  I remember seeing a helicopter land right outside the window at the end of the hall.  When I became a nursing student and was working at that same hospital, I used my breaks to scour the units, looking for that window I remembered so well.  I never found it.

I peeked in at my mom and sister.  “Her name is Stephanie,” my parents proudly announced.  I didn’t really care.  I was six and a half.

Every birthday that Stephanie celebrates, I am reminded anew how close I was to losing my mother.  And losing a precious sister.  A friend I never would have even met.  God expended some energy ensuring that march 13 would be a joyous occasion, and not one I would mourn.  I am reminded that God must have some kind of plan for her if He went to all that trouble.

I hope you are feeling special today, Steph.  I love you.

PS  There is no THE END to this fairy tale, because it is not over yet…


5 Responses to “Sunday March 13, 1988”

  1. joan March 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    such a well-written and wonderful story! gave me goosebumps 🙂
    i’m sort of ashamed because today is my youngest sister’s birthday also, and my mom almost died in labour as well. i have no details to write out such a great story though. plus i never became a nurse and i really liked that detail.
    thanks for the reminder to call my sis and wish her a happy birthday though!

  2. Nicole March 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm #


  3. Erin March 13, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    I’m glad that Auntie Debbie and Steph are here! They are some of my favourite people! As are you!

    Happy Birthday Steph and way to go Auntie Debbie for growing and delivering 4 babies!

    p.s. this almost made me cry.

  4. Aunt Diane March 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    I live but 3 hours away and seconds by phone and I never heard the story behind the c-section. This truly saddens me. I am glad that all went well in the end.

  5. Zellcorp March 31, 2010 at 6:26 am #

    I read about it some days ago in another blog and the main things that you mention here are very similar

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