It Happens in the United States

July 22, 2014 4:14 PM

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It Happens in the United States

No one expects a mother to die from childbirth. But it happens, and it happens far too often, even here in the United States. Every day, nurses put on their scrubs and go to work not knowing what their day is going to be like, what assignment they might get or who will walk through the door. As labor nurses, we hope for the Holy Grail -- a woman in active labor who we could almost bet every dollar in our bank account will deliver easily and quickly and will present us with a pink and screaming baby. There is a reason we love people who come to us in active labor. Their labor is usually quick and uncomplicated, and the process usually ends with everything we work so hard for -- a mom and baby who are both happy and healthy. But that isn't this story.

I was sitting at the nurse's station when I heard a bunch of noise at the end of the hall. On a labor unit, we frequently hear people screaming, and it doesn't even make us blink. But when it's an emergency, somehow, everyone just knows. I ran towards the sound. When I walked into the room, a mother...

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