No, that’s not a countdown to anything, that’s how long this baby was growing inside of its mother’s womb. the family ws driving from missouri to new jersey when they pulled off the highway, following the blue “H” signs and arrived at our door.

She was a teenager from latin america and had not received any prenatal care at all. She had a fever, was cramping and bleeding. I did a bedside ultrasound, saw a fetus in the uterus that was moving a bit, couldnt find the heart, but I’m sure it was there somewhere. I told the family I was just looking for where the baby was, but could say nothign about the health of the baby (which I suspected was imminently in danger).

Her screams of pain filled the hallways as I continued to try and provide pain medicine. I called the OB resident on call…”why don’t you get a surgery consult” she suggested. I hung up the phone, furious at her for wanting some other consultant to do her work. When I got the labs back with a white count of 21,000 and 11% bandemia, I was nearly certain that she had chorioamnionitis. I called the consultant back, and reluctantly she said to send her over to Labor & Delivery.

I was called back to the patient’s room just afterwards to find a pile of blood between the patients legs with a small, fully formed baby, arms still moving, sitting just outside his mother’s body. I clamped the umbilical cord and put the baby in a specimen container. The placenta would not deliver easily and I had no idea if it ought to at this stage. We cleaned her up again, started some antibiotics and finally got her over to L&D to be seen by the obstetrician on call.