Monday, July 23, 2007

My first shift.....ADDED TO!

Greetings! I am writing this in Mercy Maternity's birth room! It's 12:30 am Davao City time and things are fairly quiet here. Four babies were born this evening, but I missed the births, so I am shadowing midwife Elisabeth!

Pictured is Elisabeth caring for patient, Rey Ann, postpartum care. Her beautiful baby girl, Prisilla, was born at 9: 10 pm. All are doing well....I got to take part in all the afterbirth adventures such as the Vitamin K and Hepatitis shots, the baby's bath, check-up and paperwork. Elisabeth did a great job walking me through everything she was doing....she has such a gentle, quiet spirit! I would love to have someone like her as my midwife. Rey Ann is very blessed.
Baby Prisilla also had a gentle, quiet spirit about her! She only cried when Elisabeth gave her the shots! I got to hold her a long time...precious little one. I got to pray over her a blessing, too. That will definitely be my favorite part of the birth room.

The "buntas" (laboring woman's helper) has to do a lot of clean up here at Mercy! Because there are no nurses and only midwives here, the buntas have to take care of the bloody sheets and provide a lot of physical support for the laboring woman. What is truly amazing about this culture is that it is the norm to have a bunta come and care for all the needs of the woman....they stay the whole time and expect to be the gopher. No independence here! They pride themselves on community and help. I really admire that.

Coming from a culture that preaches independence and "the self-made man", Filipinos are quite the shock.

The rest of the midwives here are currently sleeping until their alarm goes off for the next postpartum check-up. I drank too many cups of coffee, so I will be up for a while. :) I am feeling a bit better about this whole midwifery thing....while there is so much to learn, Elisabeth was so encouraging and such a blessing.

I struggled today with mixed emotions of fear, inadequacy and reluctance of entering the birth room.....I tried to take a nap so I would be ready for the overnight shift, but I couldn't sleep....Tim was, once again, at customs trying to retrieve our belongings and once again, they told him that he needed more paperwork and now needed a broker! What a mess. Matt, our director, went with him again and the customs department played hard ball. Looks like we will need EXTRA, EXTRA prayer to get our cargo...we are praying that they do not charge us a huge amount of duty, too. We've been waiting two weeks for it and it has all my needed medical supplies and Tim's instruments. We are learning a hard lesson in patience.

To get through the disappointing day and the feelings of anxiety for the birth room, I got crafty....hence the other picture...I was getting tired of all the white walls in our place and I knew we wouldn't be getting our cargo today...I have pictures to put on the white walls in cargo....anyways......The Lord gave me this verse and it really hit me today....the good He is planning for us will come to pass and He WILL, without a doubt, use US to fulfill it.....nobody else.....just us. The plans He has for us can only be accomplished by us. This is good news.....'cuz it means that He will prepare and hone me to accomplish what He desires no matter how I feel.... What a promise. It got me through the day....and prepared me for the evening. God is good.

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement...we so need it. We'll keep you posted and I will report if anything else happens on my first birth room shift!

So here's the update....another lovely, smiley lady came in named Maricel....a beautiful lady at 8 centimeters dilation! She smiled and smiled and quieted herself....she was so peaceful and seemed to be full of life....she held (very tightly) onto her rosary and I offered to pray with her. She smiled and nodded....she spoke very little English, but understood my eyes closed and my head bowed.

Around 1:30 am, my teacher-midwife, Jane....a lovely Filipina lady....began checking her vitals and monitoring her closely. She explained each step in the process and I enjoyed spending more time with her, Maricel, and her husband, Dickey. What beautiful people!

Then about 3:30 am, her bag of waters broke when she felt she had to pee and then the action really started!

She kept a smile on her face the whole time even when she was visibly in pain....she pushed and rested....pushed and rested....pooped, pushed and rested some more. And at 5 am, their little boy, DJ, was born! He was huge! And a bit of a cone head, but beautiful and pink within minutes.....he had a good set of lungs, too! Breastfeeding within minutes and happy to be warm in his mothers' arms. Maricel is doing great and even let me take a picture of her and her growing family....(the one at the very top with the Filipina midwife). What a blessing to see her smile of relief and her husband's joy of a new son. I think I am going to like it here. Thanks for blessed.


Mom said...

I'm so excited for what you are doing! What a blessing you are to those women and that clinic! God is going to do even greater things. Get ready. :)

Kristin said...

Bethany - wow, what an amazing experience! I am in complete awww! I look fwd to your stories about the facilities and your excitement of learning new things...congrats on joining the health care professionals group!!!