The Resuscitation of Baby J

By anoble

Medical SuppliesBaby J was born in a dimly lit room, with the help of two midwives and two assistants (myself being one of them). Now, normally when a baby emerges from his mother, he is a bit like Gumby. Arms outstretched in a firm yet movable stretch, wiggly and active with strong muscle tone, and usually alert with shock or curiosity. His color is pink, or may be slightly purple, but very quickly changing into a reddish hue. He will even turn his face towards his mother's body and stare into her eyes.

But not Baby J...

He came out limp as can be. He was a rag doll, floppy and lifeless, no movements or sounds. His tiny eyes were half open and staring into nothingness. He was bluish- purple in color. He did not respond to this humongous event in any way. He had no response to the voice of his mother or to the greetings of his father. 

He lay on his mother's belly as we quickly rubbed him dry. This brought no activity from Baby J, so I flicked his heels, but he still lay there, limp and dazed. One of the midwives put the mask to his face and started pumping air into his mouth, but still to no avail. It was almost as if he did not want to breath. I kept rubbing his skin, the midwife kept pumping the air, and the others were talking to the baby boy and encouraging him to breath.

"Cry, baby boy! Just cry!" I prayed.

30 seconds dragged sloooowly by....

Then....intake of breath, and tiny noises began seeping out of his mouth. He started to turn a pretty pink. He was breathing! But we were not out of the danger zone yet. Though he was looking better, he was still not breathing on his own. And his cry was not the lusty cry of a healthy newborn, but rather small complaints and whimpers of the slightly bothered.

One of the midwives lifted Baby J from his mother and placed him on a pad of blankets next to the bed. She then proceeded to pump more air into his tiny mouth. I prayed it would work. I tried to encourage the parents to talk or sing to their baby so that he might hear and listen to their voices.

30 more seconds went by....

Baby J was now receiving supplemental oxygen through a tube held close to his nose and mouth.

Most newborns do not need help taking their first breaths. God has created a remarkable process, one of which it is an automatic response for the intake of air at the moment the infant comes out. Some babies even breath and cry on their way out! 

So, when things do not work out quite the way they are supposed to, it troubles me. Not to the point of a Faith Crisis, but it does cause me to wonder why....

5 minutes creep by...

Eventually, Baby J let out a strong cry, opened his eyes, and started asking for milk. He was now flailing his limbs all about. He was swaddled and handed to his mommy.

3-4 hours later...

Baby J was bundled tight in his brand new car seat, a tiny blue hat on his round little head, his body breathing easily on its own.

And, if I may say, he was one of the most beautiful newborns that I have ever seen.