Thursday, June 26, 2014

Determined to be Pleased

It is one of my favorite lines in one of my favorite books:

"She wanted to ascertain the feelings of each of her visitors, she wanted to compose her own, and to make herself agreeable to all; and in the latter object, where she feared most to fail, she was most sure of success, for those to whom she endeavoured endeavoured to give pleasure were prepossessed in her favour. Bingley was ready, Georgiana was eager, and Darcy determined to be pleased."

Determined to be pleased.

Picky people cannot be determined to be pleased.  In fact, they often seem determined to be displeased.  To have the attitude that one is determined to be pleased, one must choose to put the desires and wants of another before their own.

"Delight thyself also in the LORD: and He shall give the the desires of thine heart.  
Commit thy way unto the LORD: trust also in Him, 
and He shall bring it to pass."
Psalms 37:4,5

This reminds me of my favorite delivery in over  2800 deliveries.  

It was one of the busiest nights at work I had ever had. There were only five nurses and in the final count, we delivered seven babies in forty-three minutes!

I was rushing to prepare a new patient for delivery in what we affectionately called, "the cubbyhole". Its name fit it well, because it was merely an indentation in the wall, big enough only for the bed and a bedside table. A curtain gave a small degree of privacy and I stood behind this curtain trying to find out something about this woman before her baby made its hurried arrival. She had done this many times before and her body certainly remembered how because her labor was progressing rapidly -- the baby would be here in a matter of minutes.

It was then that I heard the soft comment, "I've got to push."  

It wasn't a shout for help, it wasn't a cry. It was spoken softly, quietly, almost as if she had spoken it to herself. And it wasn't spoken by my patient! Where did it come from? There were no patient rooms on this hall, only this cubbyhole! For a moment I thought I had imagined the whole thing. Perhaps even, if I ignored it completely, it wouldn't repeat itself! But I had heard it and I had to search for the owner of that softly spoken voice.

The only other room on that hallway, besides the closed operating room, was a small closet in which the anesthesia personnel kept their supplies. There were bottles of liquid anesthetics, supplies for all types of regional anesthesia and shelves and shelves of epidural trays. Barely fitting in this dark and dusty closet was a stretcher upon which was a very pregnant woman.  

Her eyes latched onto mine with urgency as I passed through the doorway. She softly repeated the phrase, "I've got to push". I quickly asked a few questions while reaching for an exam glove…Who was her doctor? A private doctor who would take twenty minutes at best to arrive. Was anyone with her? Her husband was still on the first floor completing the admission paperwork. She told me she would like a birthing room, which was the very opposite of this dark closet. When she told me she would like an epidural, I almost bit my tongue to keep from telling her that the epidurals were on the shelf right beside her.

As examined her to determine the status of her labor, I was met by the fleeting, puzzling thought I always seem to have when my fingers meet with a hard obstacle in such a soft place. The baby's head was right there. There would be no birthing room; there would be no labor coach, no epidural, not even a doctor - all of the resident obstetricians were in deliveries.  This baby was coming with the next contraction.  

I ran to grab an emergency delivery pack and headed back to the anesthesia closet. An eager, or perhaps only curious, medical student followed me back to my patient. With more deliveries under my belt now than I could count, I had full intentions of letting him do this delivery.

I asked him "Have you done many deliveries?"  

He answered, "Well, I've seen one." By the tone of his voice I had the distinct impression he hadn't paid too much attention.  

"Okay then," I said as I quickly decided, "You will help me.".

As I opened the delivery pack and prepared my instruments, I prayed that this woman would deliver as easily as she had labored. With the next contraction, the baby made its entrance into this world almost effortlessly. After cleaning out the baby's nose and mouth and guiding the shoulders through, all the while explaining to the wide-eyed student what I was doing, I wiped down the baby and gave it to the mother.  

It was easy to tell it was love at first sight. The whole process had only taken a few minutes by the clock, but it had seemed if time had stood still while this baby was being born.

I felt so sorry for this woman that all her expectations had not been fulfilled and I as I wheeled her to the Recovery Room, I told her so.  

"You didn't get a birthing room, your husband, an epidural or even a doctor." Then she replied with a sentence I will never forget.  

"No, but I got the most beautiful baby girl in the whole world!" Tears came to my eyes as I marveled at her wisdom and realized that this woman knew what was important; she knew how to extract the essence of life out of the situation. And to this day her delivery is my most memorable.

It was not memorable for occurring in a finely decorated birthing suite, nor because of the beauty of the relationship between husband and wife, although I have seen that type of delivery. It was not memorable because of the skill and caring of an experienced physician, yet I have seen those as well. It was memorable not because of the bond between nurse and patient, in fact, I can't even recall her name and I doubt she ever knew mine. It is memorable to me, however,even after all these years because of a mother's love for her child which was great enough to transcend the meager surroundings, the absent support and the inadequate staff. She was determined to be pleased.

When we delight ourselves in the Lord, when we commit our way unto Him, we are valuing His desires, His will and His way more than our own. When His desires become our desires, we find ourselves determined to be pleased and He will bring those desires to pass.

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