My lunch today

 

lunch 008

Today has been pretty quiet.  I did do 3 postnatals on moms and 3 newborn exams.  These are always fun to do.  The moms hardly look the same, now that they are not in labor.  Sometimes I don’t even recognize them.  There is one mom that I really wish would come back in.  She had a baby boy and he was pretty small.  He was lethargic at his last prenatal and in my gut, I wish I had made a bigger deal about having him seen at the Hospital clinic.  Something wasn’t right.  Anyway, I may never know.  This is so hard to let go of…This never knowing what happens to these moms we transport to the hospital. 

Mostly today I slept and slept down in the clinic.  I would wake up, study for a while and then fall back to sleep.  I have never slept so much in my life…. I’ve never been up so many  hours in a row either though and I think my body was saying THANK YOU for taking a rest.  Thank the Lord for a quiet interlude. 

I thought I would share with you a picture of a typical lunch of mine here at the clinic. This was today’s.   The fish was acutally very tasty with a coconut, ginger, kalimansi , (like a lime) broth and noodles.  I wasn’t sure what kind of meat were in the noodles were, but it did taste good.  The cook here likes to make squash bread (kind of like pumpkin bread).  It is very similar to the pumpkin raisin bread I might make with left over squash or pumpkin at Thanksgiving. Those are not typical bananas you are seeing.  They taste very different.  I think that they are tiny plantains.  They are kind of starchy tasting, and only a little sweet.

We drink water here almost exclusively, unless we go across the street for a coke.  I don’t refer the cokes here, as they are EXTRA sweet.  One of the girls that had been here for 4 weeks left today.  Last night she had a good bye party for herself and ordered Pizza from Pizza Hut!  Yes Pizza Hut.  They do have some differences though.  The crust is definately different.  Maybe is was the flour.  Maybe is was the fact that they used more oil in cooking the crust.  They also had different toppings.  The spagetti was different with noodles AND rice.  The sauce was more of a sweet and sour taste than Itallian.

The McDonalds in the mall serves rice as a side, along with the French fries and chicken.  The hambergers are not beef… they are textured soy protein.  I haven’t had the nerve to try one yet.

Mostly we have plenty to eat, if someone goes shopping.  I am going to morrow and will bring home some new and interesting fruits to try.  So far my luck has been better with the recommended ones.  The ones I brought home last week were rather a taste disappointment. 

The Filipinos are not much on raw green salads.  The only salad that they served so far at the clinic kitchen, was a seaweed variety that was salty, crunchy and was definately an aquired taste. There is lettus to be bought at the outdoor market and grocery store, but I think that they use it more of a vegetable to add to soups that green stuff.  I bought a bottle of BBQ sauce for hambergers last week and the lady at the check out stand stood for a momet looking quizzically at the Cattleman’s BBQ Sauce bottle and then asked me… what do you use this for???

Starting IV’s on each other

Today was pin cusion day.  I was victim for Joyce twice (she got the line started on me twice!) and Beth once.  I am sorry to say that I did not get it first try.  I tried Julia and she was in a lot pain, so I stopped.  I tried on Carmen, but am still not successful.  Part of the reason was that I was a little distracted becuase my laboring mom down in the clinic below, was in the the middle of very active labor and I knew that she was getting pretty close, so I skipped out a tad bit earlier than I would have otherwise.  

We all sat around laughing and joking and looking a little faint.  We were all eyeballling each other’s veins to see who had easy veins to try on.  I went first, of the students, and had Joyce do it twice, successfully on me.  I happened to know that she is the more expereinced of all of us stdents, as she drew blood at the hospital all winter! 

She did a great job and here are some precious photos of me trying!  I will try again another day when I am not so distracted with a labor.  Good thing I came down stairs when I did, too!

IV time 018

IV time 025

 

 

“To God be the glory, mam (pronounced mom)”

tiny baby 006

A very gentle mom and her husband came into the clinic around 8:30 am.  She was in early labor, and had spotted a little.  Her contractions were feeling strong.  She was concerned about everything  being normal, like what she was feeling and the discharge, and the time frame, and so forth.  I had a great time encouraging her and letting her know that her body was doing exactly what the Lord had designed it to do.

They loved Jesus very much and were Bible students.  They decided to get married and did not finish school, and her heart is still in the Word.  Her name was Phoebe and she loved to talk about the lady in the Bible named Phoebe.  Her husband’s name was Dennis.  As contractions were getting stronger, we prayed that the Lord would grant Phoebe strength.  She labored well and obeyed all my instructions as far as coaching and especially at the end, so she would not tear. She did so well.  The baby was very small and I knew this.  It was fairly quick after she started pushing that we saw the bag of water and baby right behind it.  His little head was full of black hair. She pushed so well…. then she eased the baby’s head out perfectly!  His little body slid out without a problem.

As soon as the baby was out, and rubbed down and turnig pink, I placed him on her tummy, I said to her…”You did fantastic Pheobe!”  she said, “To God be the glory, Mamm.”  It was so sweet. The entire birthing room got teary.  The placenta came and was very small, yet complete. Blood loss was only  moderate.

Baby was the smallest I have handled.  He was just barely 4 lbs. Tiny, but very active and full of vigor.  He yelled for his mama right away. I gave him a 8 and then a 9 at five minutes. 

tiny baby 005  tiny Danziel

 He then quieted down and looked around at his mommy and aunti.  Aunti got to cut the cord and I am sure that this was really meaningful to her. Becuase of his size, there was some talk of transporting.  I worked and worked with the mama to see that she understood that she MUST nurse him every 2 hours or more.  I fretted all night, concerned about how they were doing.  In the morning, when I came down to the clinic, they were doing very well.  The midwives were very happy with how responsible she was being about feeding him all the time.  They were very fine with letting them go home.  THANK YOU LORD!  Here is a picture of him above.

The only draw back was that her bana was not present, because he stepped out to go get something and was gone for about 1/2 hour. 

IV time 038

Birth of a tiny baby boy named Danziel

My anniversary surprise from Tom!

DSC00269  DSC00264

 

I was busy studying away and labor watching my mom, when Matt McNeil came into the clinic.  He carried a beautiful boquet of flowers.  With a happy smile, he said, “These are for you.”  “What???” I said, “Who from and why???”  He said, “You’ll just have to come over and read the card!”  After opening the card, tears stung my eyes… it was from Tom.  Dear Sherry, it read, Will you Marry me?  Happy Anniversary! Love, Tom.

I cannot believe in all of this crazyness, in all his business taking care of things, thousands of miles away, that he remembered.  It is not our wedding anniversary, but the anniversary of the day that he asked me to marry him.  He has faithfully remmebered this date every year for over 26 years now.  I am floored!  The boquet smells like home.  Roses remind me of home.  There are no roses growing here.  I wonder where in the world he came up with them. Tom, you are such as sweet heart!!!  I LOVE being married to you!  16 more days until I am home!

 

 

 

 

A lesson in Humility…

        The evening started out quiet enough… two laboring moms, both had been at it all day, since early morning.  I am getting fairly good as spotting the shoulder dystocia labors and feel like I have a limit as far as how long I would let a laboring mom go.  There are 3 kinds of dystocia.  One, as the baby enters the pelvis way inside, one in the middle at the ischial spines and outlet dystocia.  Each as it’s signs and potential correction measures.

          Here at the clinic,  if they try the birth stool, if they try hands and knees, if they try a standing squat, and still not progress over 2 hours, then we transport.  I think that I would probably transport earlier, if I felt that there was true dystocia.   

          My laboring mom started getting high blood pressure and she had been laboring all night and all day, and pushing for 2 hours, so we decided to transport for mid-pelvic dsytocia and exhaustion.  It is such as disappointment for these moms to transport to the hospital.  None of them can afford it.  And, the hospital does not let them leave until they pay.  We have one mom who they are not letting her see her baby after c –section and she has been there for two days. Another mom we transported has been there for 5 days and is very ready to leave, but they have no money, so she and the baby must stay, separate beds (baby in nursery).  Her bana must bring her food to eat and the cats prowl the floors for mice at night. ( and day).

          As the lessons of the night progressed, I was totally blind-sighted by the next lesson that I was about to have. 

When we walked in the hospital admittance area, at the admission desk, I saw something as I climbed head first, out of the ambulance with my laboring mom, IV held high, that I couldn’t figure out.  About 20 feet away, I saw what looked like a huge acorn, sitting on a stretcher.  I couldn’t reason why everyone was hovering over this “ball” but I thought maybe someone’s body part was being protected with something brown and round.

          As I walked up closer I still could not register what I was seeing.. until I took an organized, good look.  I was in line right beside the gurney. There, lying quivering, was a baby, about 1 year old.  Her head was about the size of a beach ball.  About 1.5 ft all around.  The huge, tan, “acorn shape” was her head. Her little face was stretched completely out of proportion, as the skin was taut. The skin around her eyes stretched upwards and her eyes were opaque and obviously blind.  They wiggled with each heart beat. Her skin was very thin and blood vessels very prominent.  Her hair sparcely placed and stretched out over her scalp, were separated by individual hairs.  Actually, fairly large vessels were feeing this huge orb.  Her hands and feet were in a curled, spastic position.  It was obvious that this little one had not gotten there over night.  She was born with hydrocephalus and it had gone completely untreated.  Her huge head rested on a little pillow and her body shivered with seizures.  I have no idea how they had kept her alive that long feeding her.  She lay silently, not crying or even grimacing, obviously very used to being this way.

 

My stomach churned as I stood within 2 feet of her for quite a while.  I prayed, Oh how I prayed, that God would please take her home to be with Him. She did not look human. Her mommy and daddy and grandma, tenderly cared for her. Daddy carefully lifted her head. It took both of his arms to lift her head, another person supported the neck and another person the body.  All of this so they could weigh her.  He stood on the scale first without her, and then the 3 of them picked her up and then he stood with her alone on the scale for a moment and was weighed.  It is obvious that they are not treating her by inserting a shunt. And it looks like they are just waiting for her to die.  Are they just waiting so see how much fluid can collect in one little baby’s head?!?

 

            My heart was (and is) just so touched.  I do not usually have these experiences (in fact I cannot every remember anything like this happening to me.) But, at that moment, as I was looking at her with such pity, the Lord spoke to my heart, letting me see my own soul in comparison to this baby.  I knew in an instant, that this baby, in all of her swollenness and paralysis, is how I look to God.  My head swollen with pride, completely unable to help Him, I could see the tragedy of it all.  In my state of swollenness of mind, I am so dependent on Him and yet so full of myself.  To be of use to Him, to be functioning as His servant, I must be drained of myself and the pride that just keeps accumulating. Have you ever had the Lord reveal your true nature to you?  Ouch!  I hope that the Lord can speak to me in a quieter voice next time… 

 

               So, in a state of spiritual shock and being really tired, I cannot sleep and I am the only one awake here out of the 5 of us.  It is now 4:00am.  There is a laboring mom who is getting pretty close. I’d hate to handle a birth all by myself… actually the patient isn’t even mine tonight but Jenn is so tired, and I offered to labor sit for an hour or two.  I’ll wake her up as soon as mom wants to push.

      This is another sweet Christian couple.  Her Bible is by her side and she is saying scripture with each contraction.  Her bana is trying so hard to help her by rubbing her back and meeting her needs.  She is working through them very well.  Quietly, as they do.  She wanted to push sooner than I expected, so I set up all the equipment.  We sat with her, as she made tentative pushes for about ½ hour after having her get on her hands and knees for a few more contractions, then on the birthing stool, and working through getting the last few centimeters up over the baby’s head. Some wandered back to the couches to sleep. We were still working through, (painful and long lasting contractions) when 6:00 am arrived.  Time for shift change.  I considered staying, but I just longed to go hide my head under a pillow somewhere. I elected to go home to the air con room and slept for 5 hours.  It is so strange to wake up in the middle of the day and try to figure out where you are, and what it up.

          I slept soundly, but awoke with the picture of the baby burning a hole in my first conscious thought.  Oh Lord, I groaned… it this really me?  Gently He laid my thoughts to rest as He reminded be that pride is a choice, once we see it, and that I could lay it all his feet and truly be of use to Him, if I wanted to be.  I can choose to change.

        And now, a few days later, I am still feeling the effects of my “vision” of what I am like if I am full of pride.  It helps me remember to put others first. 

 

DSC00263 A cutie

Shopping in the Philippines for gifts

 

It was 3:30 pm.  I had worked many hours straight and had taken a nap, but still felt really tired and groggy.  There are only a couple windows of time I have in my schedule to go gift shopping and this afternoon was one of them. Yet I wasn’t really in the mood.  Still, a window is a window, so out I flew. 

I hailed a jeepney and climbed aboard.  There are six to a side, as this was a miniature version of one.  Crammed like sardines in a can, we bumped along, stopping and starting picking and dropping of riders.  As we weaved in an out of traffic, zooming in front of other Jeepney’s peddle cars, motorcycles and Tricey cabs with a loud honk! Honk! There are no stop lights or stop signs here.  Everyone just moves along, negotiating the traffic in a zip-in-line style of driving that would surely get a ticket in the states!  The honking is not meant to be rude and no one is offended.  It is just the way of getting along, sort of letting them know your turn is next, whether they like it or not.

            We rode several miles toward down town, the buildings were getting bigger and more elegant looking.  The Embassy, the post office, the famous (or not so famous) big Marco Polo Motel are all there.  My stop to get off was just outside the Marco Polo motel on the opposite side of the street.

            The Aldevinco market was where I was headed.  It was just about an hour from closing time, so I wandered in among the shops.  There are many and all are small, even tiny, with glass fronts and doors.  Mostly all the same things are sold, just presented differently and different colors.  There are wrap around skirts, blouses, dresses, Filipino knick –knacks, and all manner of tourist trap items.  I bought my fair share!  One thing that is amazing to me, are the real pearls that are sold for so cheap.  I am going to bring home several different kinds for gifts.  They are just beautiful in different colors and shapes and sizes.

            After I had bought enough to stuff my back pack and a large bag I purchased, I set about crossing the road to find a taxi going the right way toward home.  Several young men stopped me, trying to sell me Seiko watches, leather belts, and such.  They pled with me that they were soooooo  hungry.  I felt bad, but honestly, I didn’t need a Seiko watch or belt with strange buckle attached.

            I got a taxi and headed across town to a restaurant called Boodles.  I sat down with all my packages and back pack and had their special.  For my dinner, I had a piece of chicken, broiled, and a small pile of rice.  A serving of pickled ginger and a Kalimansi (like a lime) were served along side.  I then had a Durian shake.  Durian is sold along the streets.  It is a very prickly looking fruit, rather formidable looking.  People use a machete to get into it.  The Durian has a sweet flavor, but an unusual odor.  If you can get past the odor, I think it actually tastes good, that with a little sugar and milk and ice.  Anything with ice sounds really good, as it is scarce here.

            It was now quite dark.  The streets are very active after dark here, as it is finally cool enough to enjoy life a little.  Music blares, people are coming in and out of the restaurant, there are more people on the streets now than earlier in the day.  I hired a peddle cab, and had a leisurely ride home for a mile.   For a while, a young boy (about 8) raced our peddle cab for fun.

            Back to work for night shift all night 10:00pm to 6:00am… and what a night I had.. but I  will write about that next.

 

 

           

 

A perfect birth

 Januario, Ginalyn 005

 

By the way, I am in Davao City, Philippines.  I guess I needed to make that more clear at the beginning of my blog, and throughout for those who are jumping in, in the middle.

 

I arrived 6:00 am, on shift, sleepy and half hoping all would be quiet until I woke up. (wasn’t sure when that was going to be…)  2 scrambled eggs and a piece of apple were not enough to get rid of the groggy feeling in my brain.  I think that the go  go  go  go schedule is catching up with me, after all I am 43!  I did get 6 hours sleep last night, so I am very thankful for that.

 

No sleeping allowed.  An active labor was endorsed to me.  She was a G 5  P  4.  That means that she was pregnant with her 5th baby and has had 4 live births.  Anyway, I was lazily hazing through her last birth history and saw that she went from 5 cm to crowning in 1 hour, last time.  Yikes… I jumped off the couch and went to see how she was doing.

 

I took one look at her and proceeded to set up my birth cart and oxygen tank.  She was progressing fast and I decided to just plant my bottom in a chair and to sit and wait.  Her BP was rising, (160 / 90 ) and I was really hoping she would just spit this baby out, as I really, really did not want to transport.  Felt like I was watching a race against her rising blood pressure and the birth.

 

5 minutes later, BOW (bag of water) was visible… and then baby crowned and then she was out.  Baby looked terrific.  Apgar 9 / 9.  She was just barely 6 pounds and really cute.  Here is a picture.

 

 8 28 07 moms 008

 

 

 Placenta came 10 minutes later.  We did give mom a pitocin injection, because she was anemic and I didn’t want to chance her bleeding and running out of juice with all of those little ones to care for at home.

 

It is interesting getting to know the woman of Davao, Agdow district.  In this particular family, (as in many others I am working with)  they are not officially married with paperwork. It is very expensive here.  Her bana is a laborer.  Probably one of the cement workers that are building a new retaining wall for the ditch full of water down the street.  It is very hard work in the sun, and it is all done by hand, mixing, carrying and everything.  This particular birth cost the family 450 pesos which is about $5.00. They looked in dismay at the bill.  I felt so badly.  I would love to just pay for the births out of my own pocket that I do here (after all, I am the student and they are the victims….)  but it is not allowed.  It is so obvious that this lady loves her bana very much, in fact is giving her little daughter his last name, and  hers, thorugh they are not officially married.  The woman are called on the birth certificates (housekeepers).

            After mom has recovered for about 1 hour, we get the moms up right away to the CR (comfort room).  That is if they have not lost a lot of blood and are dizzy.  The mother then walks to the CR and pees, then squats to clean herself off with COLD water.  The toilets do not flush here either, and as in many 3rd world countries that even have toilets, a big bucket is kept near by with a scooper to “flush” when you are done.  Toilet paper must not be put in the toilet either, but placed in the trash.  All of this effort must be really hard so soon after giving birth, but they want the moms to empty their bladder as soon as possible so that the uterus can contract well. 

            Mom is brought food in by her bana or banti (mother-in-law), or aute’ (sister).  She eats rice and a piece of chicken or vegetables.  There is a sari-sari stand that sells food for bana’s to buy, along with fruit, coke, adult diapers and baby diapers.  As soon as she eats, we give the baby a bath, complete with soap.

            The bath is actually a blessing to these families, as many do not have any way to bathe baby at home.  Most cannot afford diapers and just use pants.  If they do use diapers, they keep them on them until they weigh a ton.  I bought a big bag of baby diapers to share with my moms when they go home.  I just give them a slug of them and they are so grateful, it makes my heart ache.

            Then I do a complete newborn, I give the baby a vitamin K, and Hep B injection.  Then the paperwork begins.  I am still pretty confused about it all, but I am doing better.  Mostly because of all the details and some of the forms are written in Visayan and I don’t read Visayan yet.  So I invariably get something wrong on the birth certificate or something.

            I can relax a little now, as I keep an eye on them until they are ready to go home in about 3 hours. 

 

            8 28 07 moms 010

 

 

A train wreck

8 25 07 moms 007   Sleepy baby!

A “train wreck” is what the midwives call being “slammed busy”.  We had 9 moms in labor over the course of 24 hours.  This is a lot for a 6 bed clinic.  We had moms laying out all over the place either in labor, having a baby or postpartum resting.

            On my shift that day, there was a continuity birth ( a student that has followed through with all of a patient’s prenatals and has agreed to come at any hour, for her birth). This mom was measuring small for how for along she was, and the person handling the birth decided to do the birth anyway. As it all ended up, the birth was a tight fit, even though the mom was normal sized.  That seems to happen a lot around here.  We knew that the baby was going to be small and were preparing for infant resuscitation.  Pushing seemed to take forever, and the baby’s heart beat did not have a lot of variability.  Finally, the baby was born and it was very small. (just under 5 lbs.)  It really had a hard time getting going.  We suctioned, rubbed baby down, oxygen and finally it was starting to pink up after 15 minutes.  The baby seemed to be really struggling to get air in. His little tiny nostrils were flaring and his shoulders heaved with effort.  Things did get better for him after a while, but we transported the little one, with his mom to the hospital because of the question of whether he was early or just plain small for dates.  There was some question whether we should have even tried the birth, because the baby was so small.  But I think he will be alright.

            The next birth was a mom who pushed with great effort, after a fairly normal labor pattern.  The head was visible about 3 cm and then kasploosh!  The baby was out, sitting in the intern’s hands.   As the baby was coming out suddenly,  I looked in shock at the mom’s bottom. It had made a new hole in the mom’s bottom!  Not the vagina, but a hole next to it off to the side.  I felt sick to my stomach.  What a mess.  I had NEVER seen anything like it, nor had the midwives here either.  The baby was doing really well, and the mom stable after a while. We had to transport her to be sewn up, as between the new hole to the side and the hamburger mess inside, it was more than we had time or skill for.  The mother’s tissue was brittle, like paper if seems and did not have much give to it.  I went home and slept for 3 hours.  Her little sister kept the baby at the clinic and several of the students and interns that were nursing their own babies kept his little tummy full.

            Even though I had just gotten off working a 16+ hour shift, I asked Joyce to call me back to see the next birth.  I planned to see the birth and then zip up back to the house for the continuation of my rest. Little did I know that I would end up staying another 12 hours.  When I came down to the clinic, Joyce had woken me up from a sound nap.  I couldn’t even remember how to turn my ringing text phone off or how to retrieve a message. All I read on the text was BIRTH.  So I crawled out of the air con room, no veil on, my hair long and up in a barrett, still in my scrubs from the day/night shift before.  (I had just collapsed in the bed for a nap before I showered.)

            Anyway, I walked into the clinic and looked at the busy chaos with some humor.. It had been fairly quiet the last few days and some people were complaining at how boring it was.  Now, as it ended up, they were a little short handed for the amount of patieints, so I stayed and charted a birth.  Then the moms just kept coming in.  Labor!  The guard would shout from the door way.  Labor!  He yelled again.  Labor! This was getting ridiculous.  9 labors… I worked hard all night and had a great time.  I did end up transporting to the hospital 3 woman.  They were not my births, but because I don’t mind going to the hospital, I was happy to go. At one point in the evening, I was in the middle room charting for Julia, who has catching, with a labor also on each side of me.  I would chart one, chart the other and go to the other side to view the birth.  There is just a curtain separating each cubicle, so this was entirely possible.  We only have two birth carts, so as soon as a baby was born in the one area I was charting,  we needed suction for the baby about to be born in the next bed.  I quickly cleaned the machine and got it ready for the birth next door.

            I did not actually catch any baby that evening, as I was not officially on shift.  Some of the girls are protective of their births on their shifts.  I can certainly honor that.  If I had a baby that was supposed to my labor and someone who wasn’t even on shift waltzed in and took it, I might be sad too.  As I have seen it, it is always the luck of the draw on whether you get births or not on your shift.  Some shifts you get none, some you might even get two. The paperwork is quite lengthy for each birth and the responsibilities for postpartum care are pretty big too, as moms usually stay a minimum of 6 hours afterwards.

            Two of the births were 3 minutes apart. I was just having a great time, charting for two and observing one at the same time.

            The last one of the evening for me, was actually my patient from the previous night shift.  She came in at 2:00 am in light labor.  She was quiet and labored literally all day and all evening, finally getting to 9 cm by 9:00 pm.  She as very tiny.  About the size of Mercy Grace, and thin.  I wondered how in the world is that baby going to come out…  I did an IE and felt that she was small, yet I had hope that her body would open and her bones spread.

            Carmen worked with her (she was also supposed to be off shift) and Krys came in just to say hi and ended up working with us.  This little girl was crying, sobbing with the contractions.  It must have hurt her very much.  She had been so brave all day and now, after being up all night and all day, she was literally exhausted.  It came time for her to push and she worked and worked and strained and strained.  All positions we could think of and then some new ones!  Her little bottom was so small and although the baby small, it wasn’t tiny.  By 9:00pm, with hair of baby barely visible, the baby’s head was just too small to fit past her tail bone.  It was sort of strange. This mom’s tail bone would not give an inch.  Most times, they break, or at least bend in response to the baby coming through. This baby’s head was not coming down with the normal, chin tucked, presentation, but straight on with both sutures felt.  The baby was small… but mom was too small even for her baby.  So, after an incredible effort, we transported.  This was my third transport that evening and the Dr.at the Davao Hospital threw her hands up in the air! What are you doing here tonight again?!  She was laughingly, joking at me.  It had been a wild night for her too, with 33 births, ours being number 34.  So we got our little mom up on the exam table and they could hardly hear the baby’s heart beat.  It was very slow.  They got her ready for a c-section immediately.

            Carmen and I were very quiet on the way home in the ambulance.  We were both exhausted beyond words. I crawled into bed and realized that I had neglected to get pictures of the births that evening, and by morning, the moms would be gone.  So I crawled out of bed, threw a dress on over my nightgown, and took my camera down to the clinic.  Julia was kind enough to snap pictures for me, as I zombied on the couch for a few minutes.  I then sleep-walked back to my house, found my bed and promptly feel asleep until 7:00 am.

            It is 8:00 am.  I am here at clinic now, doing initial histories until 12:00 pm.  There are a lot of moms here (60).  I went home, ate a bowl of leftover oatmeal, peanut butter and milk for lunch and went for a nap.

            I feel asleep for a nap and woke up with 5 minutes to spare to get back to the clinic for my shift endorsement.  Whew!  I almost overslept.  The clinic is quiet now, except for one mom who had her baby at 1:04 pm, so I think I will continue my nap.  I am on next when a mom comes in.  I am sure that the guard will awaken me with a shout of “LABOR!”  soon.

 

 8 25 07 moms 009

           

           

 

A sweet little Angel..

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On my afternoon shift and night shift, a quiet little couple came in.  She was in labor and this was her first baby.  She was not coping with the contractions very well… in fact the whole labor she had a hard time.  As the evening wore on, she would cry and even collapse on the floor with each contraction.  I got a coaching work-out!  She complained of a lot of back pain.  I would rub her back and push hard at the pressure points and it seemed to help very little.

            Finally by early morning she was ready to push.  That was not much more fun for her either.  After 1 hour of very strenuous pushing, with her bottom at the edge of the bed, legs up around her neck, she brought a sweet baby girl into the world.  Unfortunately, she tore a 3rd degree tear (almost to the rectum).  I felt badly, as it was partly due to my not supporting her bottom very well as the shoulders came out.  On the other hand, some of the midwives felt she was tearing inside before the baby even came out…

            The special thing about this couple, is that they both had a relationship with Jesus. Not just a “Christian” veneer, but a real live love for Jesus.  During the quiet moments between contractions, the bana told me that he felt he was back slidden and wanted to come back to Jesus.  So we talked about what it means to come back to Jesus and why he should. They spoke a little English, so the communication was easier for me than some.

            This was frosting on the cake for me, as I absolutely love sharing about my Heavenly Father with any of these ladies that will listen.  With this couple we prayed and called out to God many times during labor and thanked the Lord profusely when Angel was born and mom was safe.  Here is a picture of Marivec, her bana and Baby Angel.

 

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I finally put my things away on the shelf today.  Ever since coming here, I have stored everything on my bed.  It’s not that I didn’t have access to closet space, it’s just that I wanted to sleep with all my things….security??

 

Well,  I have gotten tired of kicking off my vitamins and clothes in the middle of the night and waking up the girls, so I broke down and put my stuff on the shelf.  The shelves are all open and I can still see everything.  When I was little, I must have been the type of little girl that needed a blankie.

 

There is so much information that I am absorbing each day. Even the birth I am doing right now, I am learning so much…like patience.  My patient reminds me of me in labor. I remember how at my first birth, and how long I had to wait until I could start pushing. I  I am sure it must seem like forever for her. This patient and her husband are born again Christians.  They already knew that I was a Christian, so they asked me if I loved Jesus.  I replied, “Yes!”  Her bana and I prayed for her and her baby and had a great conversation.  He said he was back slidden and needed to come back to Jesus.  We talked about how important it is for him to be following Jesus now that he is going to be raising a child.  It is amazing how childbirth causes moms and dads to seriously consider their own spiritual state all across the world.  Especially if they have tasted of the Lord and know the truth.

 

It is dark outside now.  The clinic is quiet except for my laboring mom who is softly crying out with each contraction. Well, the clinic is not exactly quiet. Horns honking, cabs, bikes zooming by, children laughing in play, and Pinoy midwives laughing and talking, heavy rain and thunder. And oh yes, the neighbor’s television going full blast.  I am really glad I cannot understand it.  They do not like our noises and complain about the woman and baby sounds.  We do not like their blaring TV and fighting children.  Yesterday one of the children had captured a 6 week old chicken and was playing / torturing it.  I think that one of the most stressful things I have to deal with is their television, that is about 10 feet away, although I cannot see it. Drama is very dramatic here, complete with screams, music that wells and ebbs and crashes, sobbing and laughing hysterically, and guns or traffic accidents.  The more dramatic the better.

           

            One thing I really miss is good whole wheat bread.  The only bread available in the store is totally white flour.  Even the “whole wheat” bread is really just carmel colored. The bakery has white everything.  It is Wonderbread city here.  Not the brand name, but the same, if-you-squeeze-it-it will-make-into-a-golf-ball-and-stay-there, type of bread. 

            I made peanut, coconut chicken tonight for dinner and I am not sure whether the girls liked it or not.  I wasn’t there.