Early on in labor with her third child, Lucas, Sarah McBride knew something wasn’t right. Her contractions came on too fast and too strong. By the time she got to Twin Cities Community Hospital (TCCH), she was already dilated more than eight centimeters and ready for an epidural. But no sooner did she receive the epidural than the anesthesiologist had to stop it because of a dangerous drop in Sarah’s blood pressure. Once Sarah began pushing, she says things went from bad to worse when doctors realized that Lucas was losing oxygen and blood pressure with every contraction. That’s when her OB/GYN, Shan Thomas, M.D., told her she needed an emergency C-section.
“Dr. Thomas knew that Lucas wasn’t moving down properly with my pushes and that they needed to get him out right away,” Sarah says. “Before I knew what was happening, I was being wheeled into an operating room. Internally, I was freaking out, but then the nurses, the same ones who had been with me from the start, reminded me that they were close by. I'll always remember how amazing that made me feel, just knowing they were near.”
A rare twist of fate
Sarah says she’ll also always remember the sound of silence after Dr. Thomas completed the C-section and quickly handed Lucas over to Richard Macias, M.D.
“I didn’t hear crying for what seemed like an eternity,” Sarah says. “I later learned that Dr. Thomas had passed Lucas to Dr. Macias who made quick work of cleaning and suctioning him so he wouldn't get meconium [a newborn’s first feces] in his lungs when he took his first breath.”
Sarah says that as soon as she heard Lucas cry, she felt she could breathe easy again. Then her doctors explained to her the shocking reason behind Lucas’s in-utero distress.
“Lucas had a true knot in his umbilical cord,” she says. “They were all talking about how rare the knot was and made sure my husband got a picture of it. It was then that I realized the doctors and nurses at TCCH had truly saved my son’s life. So much could’ve gone wrong, but because of their quick work, my son is now an incredibly bright and active 15-month-old.”
Sarah says even before her experience delivering Lucas at TCCH, she had always recommended the hospital to her friends and family.
“We’ve been to the ER there a few times and we never had to wait more than a few minutes,” she says. “He’s fine now, but recently, Lucas experienced a seizure, and we rushed to Twin Cities without a second thought of where to go. Everyone there is just amazing.”
Sarah says she and her husband plan on having a fourth child someday, and when that day comes, they plan on returning to TCCH for the delivery.