Monday, February 20, 2012
"It's a boy..."
She was sixteen when she found out she was pregnant by a man 5 years older than her.
Now, barely 17, she lay in a maternity ward, as labor--a breach birth trying to come out shoulder first--went into its sixty fifth hour.
The doctor, an old family friend and a devout man, was at a loss for what to do. The strain of labor was killing the mother and the techniques and technology of the day left few options. He spent the remainder of the night in the hospital chapel, on his knees in prayer, begging God for an answer his own skills could not provide.
At 8:00 a.m. the next morning, he arose from that altar, at peace with God but resolved to having to kill the baby to save the young mother's life. He simply believed there was no other recourse as he walked down the hall and stepped into the room. By then though, the baby, a boy, had straightened out and was quickly delivered at around 8:30 a.m., one month premature and with obvious signs of a brain hemorrhage showing up in his left eye.
In critical condition for some time, he spent his first month in an incubator, a fairly new medical instrument then. The learning curve included the possibility of the baby being blinded by too much oxygen in the machine. After leaving the hospital and for the next few months, the boy was nursed back to health by a doting grandmother while her daughter-in-law recovered from the trauma of labor.
The young mother went on to have 4 more children, one boy, three girls--including the boy's Irish twin sister born 11 months after that first traumatic labor--, before the mother was called home by the Lord 2 years ago.
That boy was me, 52 years ago, on February 20, 1960...