Happy Birthday

“Oh my god, this whole thing was so crazy!” the patient exclaimed, relief tinged with exasperation.

“Yea, that was crazy –,” I caught myself and glanced nervously at the resident, hoping I hadn’t committed a classic medical student-gaffe.

He responded diplomatically, something about having made the right call for the situation.

We should have been in the OR hours earlier, at the first sign of fetal distress. Instead, she was left writhing in pain in the labor bed. I wet a cloth for her face and watched the fetal heart rate drop lower and lower. We helped her change position at every deceleration. She cried out with every turn.