August 17, 2013. It was a rainy Saturday night in our locality. I was sound asleep when my cell phone rang and woke me in a sudden. I reached for my phone in a flash to see that it was my nurse supervisor calling. Oh no, I said to myself, what kind of emergency it could be that she needs to call me at this time. I answered it and it was a childbirth we have to attend to at our Rural Health Unit. As a novice nurse before, I was a bit nervous about attending to emergency cases. But considering it was a delivery, which I have assisted for several times even when I was still a student, I was pretty confident everything would go smoothly.
It took me about 15 minutes to be at the facility. Straight away I proceeded to the Delivery Room. My nurse supervisor was there as well as the rural midwife. The patient was already positioned in the delivery table ready to bring forth a new life. I assumed the baby is going to be out in this world in just a few moments since according to the midwife her cervix is already fully dilated. But it turned out the mother is struggling with properly bearing down. Worried that the delay of birth might cause fetal distress, we coached the mother on the right technique of “pushing”. After several attempts, the baby finally came forth. It was a baby boy… in bad shape. Initial assessment reveals an unresponsive, flaccid newborn with cyanotic (bluish) body, which means the newborn, is deprived of oxygen. Meconium-staining (a condition in which meconium, a baby’s first stool, is present in the amniotic fluid which can block fetal airways) is also noted. As the midwife aspirate the meconium from the nose and mouth of the newborn, I quickly dabbed my stethoscope unto his tiny chest hoping for signs of life. I heard nothing but plain silence. No lub-dubs, no breath sounds. The midwife tried to stimulate the newborn to cry but still not responding. My heart stopped. However during such times, there’s no room for panic. The baby will need to be resuscitated. I immediately performed CPR. Along with disbelief of what was just happening, I was filled with adrenaline and solemn conviction to save the baby. I wasn’t really aware of how much time it has been causing us trying to save the baby but I remember overhearing the midwife already consoling the family and divulging that the baby might not make it. It was heartbreaking for me to see the mother lying helpless and apprehensive about her baby. But I was steadfast. I went on with doing CPR while praying hard. God, just please let this poor baby live. Please..please..please.. Slowly he showed signs of life. I noticed a rise and fall on his chest, although irregular, I knew he was breathing. I dabbed my stethoscope again on his chest and thankfully I could locate a heartbeat. His body color was also gradually changing. God knows how extremely relieving it was. I swear it is incredibly one of the most surreal moments in my life.
After the baby and mother‘s condition were stabilized, they have to be brought to a higher institution for further care. I accompanied them and constantly monitored their status in the ambulance. We dropped by the nearest hospital from our place which was a district hospital but they were again referred to a higher level. As we travel to the city, I can’t resist be thinking how amazing it felt to have saved a life. We finally reached the hospital where they got admitted. As much as a wanted to be of care with them, I understand I had to hand the responsibility to the hospital and I also have to get some rest. I was just left with a piece of paper, an acknowledgement slip given by the hospital with the name “Baby boy D”. I kept it with me; it was like my own memorabilia of this unimaginable experience. Several weeks after, I heard the baby and mother were discharged from the hospital in great condition. I was at ease to know that they are well.
So I moved on with my daily life as a nurse and whenever I see a newborn, it always reminded me of Baby Boy D, my miracle baby. I wondered about him. What could’ve been his real name, what he looks like…Until in August 23, 2016, a male child came by the Rural Health Unit for consultation with his mother? That year, I was absorbed in a deployment program for nurses by the DOH that got me back to work in our locality. I thought they were just random clients but as soon as I asked their surname and place of residence, I speculated and thought to myself, could this child be my miracle Baby boy? I stared at the mother’s face but I could barely recognize her. Swiftly, I looked into the child’s record swiveling my eyes to his birth date and place. It was August 17, 2013 born in the same health facility. I was astonished! Indeed he is. He’s grown into a handsome boy, very innocent of what he went through the night he was born. I immediately introduced myself because the mother doesn’t also seem to remember me. I was really ecstatic and to my excitement, I gave the boy my tightest hug. (He wasn’t in his best mood that day so he actually didn’t like it *laugh*.) After 3 years, in the most unexpected moment, I finally got in touch with him. The sweetest thing was to know about his real name. He was given the name “Michael” like the Archangel.
Dear Baby boy D, Michael, one day we’ll cross paths again. Maybe you’ll be a grown up man by then. Soon I will tell you this story, how much you have touched my life. Until then I can only wish for you to have good health. As you grow older, may you enjoy every stage of your life? Seize every moment. Live your life to the fullest. Please don’t take your life for granted for God has blessed you a chance make the most it.
By: Shyragail L. Cariño