What two things did the doctor tell Pausch and Jai about the birth of their first child?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The doctors notify Jai and Pausch about the challenging conditions of their baby's birth.  It had already been established that the entire pregnancy had been a challenge for both Jai and the baby.  Doctors had told both husband and wife that Jai's placenta was not working well.  The organ primarily responsible for facilitating nutrients to the fetus had been impacted to a point where the baby was not developing properly.  The doctors had told them that the denial of nutrient intake had impacted the baby's lung capacity.  Once Jai starts to bleed, the doctors realize that the "placenta had torn away from the uterine wall."  As a result, the doctors disclose that Jai and the child's lives are endangered.

The doctor communicates this reality to Jai and Pausch.  The life lesson that emerges from the experience rests in the second item that the doctor communicates to husband and wife. The anesthesiologist tells them that Jai cannot go into shock during the delivery.   The doctor says that Randy has to be with her and calmly reassure her throughout the entire delivery process.  The birth of their child and Jai's health are endangered if they have to treat her for shock.  The doctor's words are pointed in that the birth of their child is directly linked to Jai's ability to maintain calm and Randy's ability to do his job effectively.  It is through this that Pausch tells his wife everything he sees as the procedure takes place.

This example highlights how Randy believes that human beings hold the capacity to make any situation better or worse.  He reasons that if either of them had “fallen to pieces" with the news the doctor told them, Dylan would not have been alive.  The medical disclosure of Jai's and the baby's conditions and then the therapeutic disclosure of needing to remain calm become the two things that the doctors tell Jai and Pausch about the birth of their child.

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