One evening Abby receives a phone call from a man named Nathan Fisher. He and his wife Ruth had recently rented the old Levi Yoder place, after Mr. Yoder had passed away. Nathan requested that Abby come to see his wife as she was in active labour and about to birth their baby. Knowing she isn't allowed to do this on her own, Abby advised Nathan to contact the doctor's office but Nathan was insistent telling Abby his wife was: "...crying out and is in a lot of pain." Nathan indicated things had progressed too far to try and track the doctor down. Abby then suggested he call 911 for an ambulance or she could make the call for him. Nathan explains that his wife, Ruth, won't go to a hospital. Annoyed, Nathan tells Abby: "If you don't want to help us, then don't come..." Finally, Abby relents and heads for the Fisher farm in her buggy.
During Abby's four-mile drive, she tried calling Dr. Weller but was told by his answering service that he was stuck in a multi-car pile-up on the interstate, and would be tied up in an emergency at the hospital all night. The answering service suggested Abby call the paramedics.
Nathan Fisher met Abby outside, told her he'd take care of her horses and could she please go inside immediately as his wife was: "...hurting real bad."
Once inside the house Abby put her bag on the table and called 911. She told the dispatcher she had a woman in labour and needed an ambulance right away and provided the address. After scrubbing her hands, Abby found Ruth inside the bedroom in advanced stages of labour. Sweat ran down the woman's face, the room was hot and airless, and filled with a coppery smell of blood. Abby noticed Ruth's complexion was the colour of skim milk, her hair was damp and clung to her head like saran wrap. Abby pulled off the blankets and: "...her words and breath froze in her throat. There was a lot of blood - too much." It was actually pooling on the soaking wet sheet. Abby told Ruth that she was NOT alllowed to birth babies on her own. When Nathan returned from outside, Abby told him to call 911 again and tell them we need that ambulance "right now!" Abby instructed Nathan to ensure he told them his wife was hemorrhaging.
As Abby was examining Ruth, Ruth grabbed her arm and said: "Save my baby. Don't worry about me." Her words were barely audible. Abby knew that if the placenta tore away from the uterine wall in just the right place at just the right time, Ruth could lose enough blood within 15 minutes to die. Abby knew this was what was happening.
Wasting no time, Abby told Ruth to start pushing because this baby needed to come out now! Miraculously the baby boy slid out and began breathing on his own as soon as Abby cleaned the mucus from his nose and mouth. Abby showed Ruth her newborn baby son and saw a slight flicker of a smile cross her face. Then Ruth lapsed into unconcsciousness, her breathing grew thin and raspy while her blood continued to pool. Abby wrapped the baby in a blanket, handed him to Nathan and told him to go and wait for the ambulance. Once gone, without hesitation Abby pulled a "prefilled syringe" from her bag and injected Ruth with a powerful drug to stop the hemorrhaging...a drug she wasn't supposed to have. By the time the ambulance arrived 10 minutes later, "Ruth had no discernable pulse or even a wisp of breath." The ambulance had arrived and taken over but despite their best efforts, Ruth had passsed on. Abby tired and exhausted went home to bed.
The following day Abby and Daniel were returning home when they saw a Sheriff's car with the lights flashing parked in front of their house. Abby jumped from the buggy, ran to the Sheriff to inquire about her children. Fortunately, Laura and Jake were fine, but Abby wasn't. The Sheriff was there to arrest her for injecting the medication into Ruth Fisher the day before.
Sitting in a jail cell charged with felonies and other charges, Abby ponders her future and that of her children.
June 7, 2011