I had a patient who had been admitted to OB/GYN through the ER for a D&C with suction for a missed abortion. 13 weeks into her pregnancy she learned the baby no longer had a heartbeat and she would miscarry. She chose to try and wait it out at home without having surgery to remove the products of conception, but due to her symptoms of heavy bleeding and pain, she came to the ER to seek treatment. She was then scheduled in the OR for a D&C with suction.
When she came into the pre-op area of surgery she asked the nurse if she could take the baby home with her. She was told she could because the fetus had been well preserved inside the amniotic sac in the mother’s womb which was spontaneously expelled as the surgeon entered the OR. After the case was finished the patient had been taken care of and transported to the recovery area and I was left trying to accommodate the fetus in something appropriate for the mother to take home with her. Marlene came in to assist me with the task of creating something special to send the baby home. We had obtained a keepsake box, but it was for things like a lock of hair or foot impressions. Marlene made a tiny cup-like container for the baby and we were able to wrap it with soft material and then wrap it again in a receiving blanket and placed in the box along with the tiny pillow, tiny hat and tiny outfit that came with the box. Marlene came in to help me with a patient who hadn't even been hers. She came in and offered help from the goodness of her heart. She offered a kind and nurturing touch for a little life that was no longer. With her help came calmness to myself and my emotions and for that I was thankful. I know the mother would also be thankful for the kind-heartedness we had shown her baby even though the actions we had performed were behind the scenes.