Monday, March 5, 2012

Disbelief in James

Today I made my visit to my midwife's office.  She is a wonderful woman and I am seeing her because, while she only does deliveries in hospitals, she was trained in part by my homebirth midwife.  She understands natural labor and the beauty and good of home birth, as does the doctor she is in practice with.  Today my midwife is gone and so I saw the doctor - an ordinary ob-gyn except that his c-section rate is fantastically low, he's the best in the area at "turning" breech babies, and he also supports homebirth.

He asked if there were any complications with any of my other pregnancies.  I tell him I miscarried my first and that my second was a stillborn because of a knot in his cord.  And before it gets all sad in the room I quickly say, "But he's okay now."

"Oh," Dr. replied, "Well if he's okay then I wouldn't call him a stillborn.  Stillborns are dead."

"He didn't have a pulse for 61 minutes."

"A pulse you could discern."

"That's true.  He was 'P.E.A. on the monitor' when he got to St. Francis."  (Pulseless electrical activity means his heart muscle was still sending some sporadic impulses.  A sono of the heart in the ER also showed the heart "flutter.")

Or as I like to think of it, James' APGAR score was 0 at 1, 10, and 20 minutes - and at 60 minutes! - and he was "mostly dead."  Perhaps because of the chest compressions and mouth to mouth there was enough of something to make him twitch.  And so we called on Sheen and Almighty God instead of Miracle Max.


After I gave the Doctor the last bit of information he was quiet for a moment and then asked, "Where did you deliver?"

"At home, with Bernice."  Bernice's consulting physician - or whatever it's called for insurance and certification purposes in the state of Illinois - is this same doctor.

"I remember your son!  Bernice called me about him and I visited him in the NICU.  I remember looking at him and saying to myself, 'This boy is a miracle.'  How is he now?"

"He's fine.  He sees a feeding therapist for some swallowing issues but socially, physically, developmentally he's fine.  He's a year and a half and he's fine."

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It's a beautiful thing to share James' story, especially with people in the medical field.  They ask the best questions, doubt the most, and their responses of silence or disbelief or awe reaffirm what I feel in my heart - that James' healing and life are miraculous.  (I'll say alleged miracle for the sake of Sheen's cause.)

I was able to share James' story this past Saturday to a group of 60 people at an area parish's event.  It was a joyful privilege to tell the details for God's goodness and majesty.  I hope I have the opportunity to tell it many more times.  For people who will listen James' story is a remarkable tale and for me to tell it is quite healing.

But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.  Mt 13:16-17

6 comments:

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

I loved, and love, reading about James. A true miracle!

Cari said...

My mom, who is a nurse, was silent when I told her about James. She asked me about developmental issues, which I answered as best as I could, and she was silent afterward.
Then (and she is not a woman of any particular faith), she said, "What a miracle".

Anonymous said...

PEA is correct as you explained it. However, I want to point out that the electrical (impulse) and mechanical (pumping/beating) aspects of the heart are seperate. A person in PEA does not have a beating heart...the muscle is not responding to the electrical impulses. Therefore, it's essentially the same as asystole (meaning no heart beat or muscle moving). Just like a person who has a permanenet pacemaker insertion has to have the device turned off after death (because the device will continue to fire electrical impulses...it's battery powered), the heart muscle will not respond by pumping blood...essentially the only purpose of a heart beating in the first place.

My only point in writing this is to confirm what you said. Your son, without a pumping heart (PEA), was essentially dead. Yes, he received CPR and post-resucitation cares, but it's just a miracle. Look up the long-term survival rates, let alone recovery rates, of people who have CPR sometime if you question this statement.

Love ya,

Em

suzishepherd said...

Wish I could attend Behold, wish I didn't live so far away that I can't talk to you in person. I was one of James' resuscitators. And, yes, I know you have to say alleged, but you are dealing with a miracle here.

Amanda S. said...

LOVE that you chose that clip from Princess Bride.

Holly Rutchik said...

Bonnie,
It was a blessing to hear God's story of James at Behold and share a meal with you on Sat. night. You are one holy and funny lady - the best combo if you ask me. :)