Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm Pregnant. Can you tell?

Greetings! We pray you are all well! We are anticipating lots of changes and news from family and friends over the next couple of weeks...we just heard that our sister-in-law, Esther, is in labor with baby #2 in British Columbia, another sister-in-law is set to go in August, and we have other friends just waiting to meet their little ones, too.

Speaking of which....because so many of you have asked to see me in "pregnant glory" (whatever THAT is!), Tim sat me down for one of his photo sessions in our house to document my growing belly. We really had a great time taking an evening to play with his camera and enjoy each other and the belly...Promise Grace kicked the whole session through...she doesn't seem a bit camera shy! As for me, the session was a challenge, but Tim is a very talented man, so here are the results.....

Among other news, Tim and the team loaded up 14 filters for Magindanao on a small truck with another truck returning later this week to pick up more. This is very good news. Tim is also looking into a wonderful possibility of training more eager Filipinos tomorrow. Their training will greatly impact their area and the surrounding areas including Magindanao. Praise God...things are moving forward.

In the midwifery world, I had the privilege of delivering another baby girl last night. Unfortunately, I have no pictures as a result of the complications of the birth. Similar to last Monday, my dear patient, Licsi, worked very hard through labor and did fantastic. She was strong and although this was her first baby, she was such a trooper despite the excruciating pain.

When the head was near visible, her bag of waters showed very thick meconium that looked like pea soup. Not good. We fought to get the baby out as the baby's heart tones dipped and we had to put Licsi on oxygen. Over 40 minutes later, little Eunice was born, not breathing, lifeless. It was a race to get her breathing with all hands on deck, there was deep suctioning, oxygen, resuscitation, and finally a heartbeat was found...her eyes began to open, but she was still very blue and limp. We needed to transport.

Meanwhile, my dear Licsi tore from the needed force of getting the baby out fast and the fact that her baby was quite large. She had a 3rd degree laceration that spilled blood and she was given in IV. While I was on transport with a new intern named, Christy, Licsi was being sutured to prevent her from bleeding further. The intern, Christy, was such an incredible blessing to me accompanying me to DMC to check the baby in and helping me every step of the way throughout the busy shift. At DMC, we raced Eunice to the resus. room where there were no empty beds, all the oxygen tanks we in use and two men had just died. It was chaos and after conversing with one of the nurses, we got Eunice into the OB emergency room where she was given oxygen, put under a heat lamp and cared for.

We returned to MMC to find Licsi still being sutured by our wonderful supervisor. But the tear was just too deep with Licsi's pelvic nerves exposed. Not a good sign. So then we prepared her for transport to DMC as well. She fainted in the movement, but came to quickly. We prayed and off she went.

Clean up was huge...we were all tired. But apparently both Licsi and Eunice are doing well, but have to remain at the hospital for another couple days for treatment.

Not sure how well I am coping with being pregnant in the birth room. I often feel weak and incompetent with my belly constantly slowing me down....and yet somehow God continues to give grace. Not sure how much longer I can keep up in the birth room....but my desire is to be a blessing and continue learning, so until this is no longer a possibility, I will continue. God is good. Thank you for all your prayers and encouragements....they are much appreciated and much needed! We will keep you posted.

Be blessed.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Weak Midwife, Strong God

Greetings! Just to give a quick update on the water filter/typhoon situation Tim spoke of this week, Toti went and visited Magindinao to see the damage and assess how extensive the need was and apparently it is quite overwhelming. The government helped the first few days, but has since left the area destitute without any indication of future help. So the plan is to take as many filters as possible to the area early next week. Please be praying it all works out and that the filters will be the very hands of Christ to the families there.

This passed week was a full one for me, too....on a very different level. It started with my birth shift on Monday.....quiet, until my patient, Des, mother of 4, soon to be mother of 5, 45 years of age, confident and very independent, began to push. She was clearly wanting to do birth HER way....which I was quite happy to watch....that's really what I did...WATCH her labor and push as she changed positions 10 times from hands and knees to squatting, to lying down, pooping and bleeding all over the cubicle. It was messy. And then her water broke...but instead of clear fluid coming out, it was thick brown liquid...meconium...thick....very dangerous. That added to the smell and mess, but Des just kept changing positions and then, as the baby's head was visible, she decided she wanted to sleep. Ha ha ha ha....I laughed so hard. I said, "Sure! Go for it!"

Then about 10 minutes later, she wanted to push again and this time, the baby nearly popped out spewing meconium and blood everywhere....we had to deep suction the sweet newborn girl and administer oxygen. She wasn't pinkening up at all....vigorous stimulating the baby still wasn't working and meconium was still being suctioned from her lungs and nose. Meanwhile, Des started to bleed. A lot. I had to immediately transport the baby to the hospital while my supervisor Carmen tended to Des and her bleeding.

On the way to the hospital, Des' husband and I prayed and baby, now named Dawn, began to pink up a bit and with eyes wide open coughed and sputtered....a good sign. Though I have not heard from them since Monday, I am hopeful that they are well. Please pray for Dawn that the effects of her difficult birth will not be long-lasting. Thanks!

Then Tuesday I had to head to the hospital for some business of my own....the routine "urine culture" and "glucose test". It was NOT a pleasant experience. I will not go into details because it would fill numerous posts....but the whole experience involved 6 hours of drinking "water" (poisoned with an intense amount of glucose) which caused dizziness and blackouts, heartburn, and heart palpations, 45 minutes of "squatting" beside a squatty potty in a bathroom cubicle smaller than my closet with a jar with an opening no bigger than my thumb nail, peeing on my hands and a portion of my pants (none actually got INTO the jar) and half-walking, half lumbering home being stared at like a giant magenta elephant. Yes, that was my Tuesday. Oh poor Bethany. Ha ha ha. Now I have GREAT compassion on the women I see in prenatals that I refer for a urine analysis in this country. Humbling, to say the least!

I recovered and by Wednesday things were returning to normal in my guts. Finished a homework assignment, took two exams, worked prenatals and.....was blessed with a kiss from heaven!

As we get closer to Promise's arrival, the need to prepare a place for her is becoming more and more on the forefront of our minds. The materials for the home birth are needed (many of which are hard to find here) and I am struck with how little I know of what is helpful in mothering a newborn! And though I have tons of midwives around me, they only have access to the same items as I do....but then came Laura.

Laura is serving at Mercy for two weeks as an intern. From the US, I met Laura when we moved here last year as she was interning last summer. We hit it off and I so enjoyed her company. And just before coming this week, she sent me an e-mail asking me if there was anything I wanted from the US for the baby or the pregnancy....I have been so blessed with friends and family that have ministered to me in the form of nursing bras and buntis clothing, I just couldn't think of anything I needed....except for black licorice and TUMS (I have horrible heartburn right now!)....she asked again if there was anything else and I just could not think of anything....

And then she came....girlie newborn clothes for the first 3 months, more cloth diapers, organic almond and lavender baby soaps, diaper rash cream, licorice, TUMS, fancy undies you wear immediately postpartum, baby blankets, breast pads, a baby carrier that she used with her kiddos....AND a handmade sling made just for Tim!!! All manly-looking and everything!!!! I cried. I could not believe the incredible blessing I had just received. She gave me so much advice on how to wash diapers in this climate, how to wear the slings, how to use the special organic diaper rash cream.....I felt so I had just received a strong hug from the Lord that gave strength and confidence to my weak, lumbering body. My spirit was so rejuvenated and I felt like, once again, the Lord was confirming His promise of taking care of us despite being so far away from those we have always relied upon to carry us. The Lord was carrying us using unexpected sources carrying unexpected (and undeserved!!) blessings.

It must be said that Laura packed two suitcases FULL of baby items for the patients at Mercy, too. No doubt her blessing will extend far beyond the time of her visit.

Thank you for all your continued prayers and encouragements. Tim is finally feeling less stressed, more organized and more at peace....he has such a wonderful heart. I sure love him. He is tickled by all the baby clothes (even though they are sooo girlie) and loves watching the baby's area of our room explode with is my belly. She is quite the acrobat now!! God is so faithful.

Be blessed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Typhoon Frank

Let me start by saying that Bethany and I are fine. We have had several emails from our friends back home asking if we were affected by Typhoon Frank, which steamrolled the Philippines over the weekend. The storm didn't pass over Davao City, so everything is okay here. There were severe winds that made a terrible racket, but didn't cause much damage.

Other parts of the country were not so lucky. As you have no doubt heard, a passenger ferry was caught in the storm, and more than 700 passengers are feared dead after the boat capsized. There has been severe flooding in many regions of the Philippines and the death toll is approaching 600 (obviously that number does not include the ferry victims).

On Sunday evening Toti and I received an emergency request for 200 water filters from Magindanao, a province that is about 4 hours from Davao. They report that the flooding is severe in Magindanao and about 1000 families are without water and electricity. 200 filters is way beyond our capabilities, but we've been working for the last two days to find a way to help. We have about 15 filters in stock right now, so we have canceled this week's deliveries so that we can take all of our filters to the flooded region.

Someone will be sending a large truck to transport the filters to the region. The truck was supposed to come today, but plans changed. Officials believe that the arrival of so few filters is likely to cause a riot, as people fight to gain access to either the filters, or the clean water that they produce. Instead, they have delayed the delivery for a week so that we can continue to build filters and increase the size of the delivery.

I don't know anything about floods or their effects on drinking water. I don't know if the affected area has utilities such as city water, or if people use their own personal well. I have no idea how the flood effects well water, or how long those effects are felt. Information is not easy to come by right now, so I just have to trust that waiting until next week is wise.

I feel way out of my league right now. The need is so great, and we are such a small little operation. Even if we are able to get them 25 or 30 filters, is it too-little-too-late? Meanwhile, I have about four different regions that were expecting filters this week that will have to wait for more than a week while we stockpile filters for Magindanao. The worst thing about all this is the waiting. Without deliveries, all we can do is build filters and wait. Meanwhile, four hours away, people are desperately in need. I think we are doing the responsible thing, but the waiting is killing me.

I haven't got any pictures of the floods, but I'm hoping that someone will send me some soon. In the meantime, I'll show you a couple of pics from our Saturday delivery of five filters to the Women's Correctional Institute. The women gathered together in the mess hall to learn about the germs that were making them sick and how the filters could help. Several times my speech was interrupted by cheers as the ladies learned that the filters would provide them with safe water for as long as they were living at the prison. We were able to tell them that Jesus loves them and He knows each and every one of them by name. We told them that Jesus knew about their need for clean water and sent us to help. It was such a privilege to watch these women receive a gift from the Lord.

I'll keep you updated on the flood situation. In the meantime, Be Blessed!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hospital Hopping

Bethany and I took the day off from our usual work today. Instead, we worked on a bit of baby prep. Jenn and Joe are loaning us their crib, which is a huge blessing, so we got that all set up today. We aso went to visit a couple of the local hospitals to investigate possible places for Bethany to give birth in the unlikely event that her labour gets complicated and we need to transport her to the hospital. We checked out two hospitals that had come highly recommended by some of Bethany's midwife friends.

Our first visit was a bit of a bust. The hospital didn't have that nice clean "western" feeling to it, but more importantly, I didn't like the doctor, or the policies that she was determined to follow, which left me with a complex, which is evidenced by the use, of so many, comas, in this sentence. Specifically, it is our desire that I remain with Bethany throughout the process. That's a pretty big no-no here. Filipina women are expected to labour alone, without the help of anyone but a nurse who is busy serving everyone else in the room (most labour rooms have about six beds in them).

I know that a generation ago, husbands weren't expected to be in the delivery room. They were supposed to hang out in the waiting room with their friends, trying to remain calm and not make an aspen of themselves (that was for you Uncle Zonno). But I'm apart of the next generation - we're naming our kid Promise - and I want to be with my wife.

Anyways, the doctor at the first hospital was kind, but seemed to implicate that we were nuts for trying to have our baby at home. And she wouldn't hear of me being with Bethany in either the labour room or the delivery room. I kept my cool, but I've got to tell you that I wanted to engage her in an endless maze of questions that would have shaken her to the core and stripped her of all the faulty logic that her belief system is built upon.

The second hospital was a big hit. It's a much newer facility, so it had that nice familiar "western" feel to it. Let me take this opportunity to say that I know we have chosen to have our baby in the developing world, and we can't expect things to be the same as back in Canada. Having said that, I want to make sure that Bethany has the most peaceful and stress free birth as possible, so we want to know which hospital is going to provide that for her.

Not only was this second hospital much cleaner and newer, but the doctor was great. She was warm and friendly, and she actually stated that she hoped that our birth could take place in our home instead of the hospital. Although this hospital had similar rules as the other, this doctor seemed to be much more flexible. She said that I could definitely be in the delivery room, and that she would try to allow me to be in the labour room as much as possible. We will continue to pray that the Lord will prepare the day of delivery so that everything goes smoothly, but I think we both feel pretty good now that we have a solid backup plan.

While Bethany and I were working on that stuff, Toti was busy delivering six filters to a very distant Butuan. Butuan is the city that Impact visited during the JOC in April. We have trained some men from Butuan and they wanted to have some filters right away because they're working in a village where people are dying from bad water. These first six filters will have an immediate impact on an entire village. My hope is that soon we will have a team building filters on their own in Butuan.

In other news that may or may not interest some of our readers: Bethany and I got the new Coldplay album a few days ago. I like it a lot, and you should too. Speaking of music, I pulled out an old Jethro Tull album last night and Bethany and I cuddled while listening to some silly 70's music. It was a precious moment of stillness in our otherwise busy lifestyle.

Also, I'm pretty excited this evening because I seem to have at least temporarily solved my photo sharpening problems. When my computer crashed in February, my copy of Photoshop went to hard drive heaven. I have spent countless hours trying to reinstall Photoshop since then, but to no avail. Today I downloaded some new trial software from Nikon, and I must say I'm feeling pretty good about it. It's not as good as Photoshop, but at least I can sharpen my photos again. What does this mean? Well, let me show you the difference. Observe this unsharpened portrait (click here). Now look at the sharpened version (click here).

Well, you may not be excited, but I am. I think a bit of sharpening makes all the difference. Anyways, that's life for us here in the Phils today. Thanks for reading and God bless. I leave you with some pictures from a recent filter delivery in a nearby Muslim community.

P.S. Did it bother you the way I kept spelling "labor" as "labour"? Well, I'm a Canadian, eh?


Sometimes the only way to get a good seat in the truck is to knock out a window.Toti and I found ourselves driving through a very dense banana forest.Sometimes one filter can provide a whole bunch of people with clean water.This filter became clogged, and Toti was crazy enough to try sucking out the obstruction.This rice field caught my attention last week.The baby's room is slowly but surely taking shape.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Greetings! This is little Nicholas John. Born 6/10/08 at 10:01 pm weighing 6 lbs. 15 oz. I like him. 

This is his momma, Macaria, my continuity pictured two posts ago.....and below is her bana, Oliver....he's great.
So, I was already on swing shift and pretty busy. I had one patient who was pretty active and then I got a text from Macaria at 4:30 pm..."Ma'am Beth, busog (contractions) pas-pas (fast) and daghang (a lot) of dugo (blood) sa pwerta (you can guess that one!)." So I wrote her back very cautiously, "Maayo! (good!) Tubig imong pwerta? (your water broke?)" Next response, "Wala...I come see you? (No, now I come to clinic!)". I figured I would just check her contractions, see how she was faring, do an internal exam to find she was 2 cm dilated and send her home....NOPE!

By 5:30 pm, she arrived at the clinic....somewhat panicky aand quite in pain...I knew I would not be sending her home. Yup, 5-6 centimeters dilated and vital signs all normal. So I passed my other dear patient (who was almost pushing) to the next midwife and had to concentrate on my continuity...mind you, this is her first baby and even though she is 5 cm, she could labor for another 10 hours or longer!! ARGH! So, I prepared for a looooong shift and the possibility of no sleep for a very, very long time.

Tim came by the clinic to bring me more food (BLESS HIM!) and a tasty treat of Halo Halo (which was a life saver because it was cold and I was very HOT...sweating the whole time!). By 9:25 pm, Macaria was wanting to poop! A good sign! I told her to just breathe and we would wait a bit longer....she couldn't seem to poop. By 9:40 pm, she said, "Maam Beth....I REALLY want to poop! Can I poop?" So I got her to stand beside the bed knowing that she really didn't need to poop, the baby was just coming soon and it felt like she needed to poop! Sure enough, one little squat and her baby's head was just ever so slightly visible! She was pretty excited through the moanings and groanings....she quickly got on to the bed not wanting anyone to help her and began to push....

She push her baby's head little by little for a VERY long time....or so it seemed. And at 10:01 pm, her baby boy took his first was tough for him, but he did it in a pool of his own meconium...that's baby's first poo, if you are not aware. :) Sorry for the details, but they are pertinent.

So both mom and baby were doing well and the meconium seemed not to have any effect on the first couple hours of Nicholas' life....until about 1:30 am....I was still there, tired, worn, weary and REALLY sweaty! Nicholas' breathing started to get harsh....retracted....he was struggling, though all his vital signs remained normal. So I headed home and another midwife checked his breathing later during the night. Things seemed normal.

Then he came a day later for his first baby check....yellow, weak, sleepy, not feeding, losing a LOT of weight, high respirations and running a fever! His momma was apprehensive and not sure what to make of it all...she was still recovering herself! I referred them to a pediatrician and advised her to breastfeed as often as possible even if it meant waking little Nicholas every hour to do so. She took him out in the sun a bit and tried once again to breastfeed on the way to the pediatrician. 

The next day she came back to see me...apparently the baby was fine according to the pediatrician, but he still had lost even more weight, was still yellow, and refused to breastfeed more than 8 minutes. We prayed and she shared that she had another appointment with the pediatrician next Tuesday just to make sure he is getting better and not worse. Then she is coming to see me again to check all the vital signs and get an update. Please be praying for her little baby....he's a precious one.

In other news..... I heard from Weensee's momma today! He is doing great, drinking milk and eating well! YIPPEEE! Still on medication, but she is so grateful to the Lord knowing that he will make a full recovery in Jesus' name!

Tim is pretty fried and stressed as of late....but we're doing our best to trust the Lord regardless of the "fiery darts" we've been getting lately. If you could be praying for some serious financial protection, we would greatly appreciate it! God has been so faithful thus far, so we expect Him to continue to be so. :) 

Our little baby is doing fantastic (PRAISE GOD!)....everyone this week has been saying, "Okay, look sooooo preggo now!" In other words...I no longer look fat! This is good! I think my belly must have popped in the last week....clothes just don't fit at all! :) And Promise is moving a ton....she moves books and plates all by herself belly has become unfit in her eyes to be the table of any object. She loves to play trampoline games on my bladder and has only got me racing to the bathroom once to see if I peed myself from the crazy pressure! I am having minor contractions every hour or so now reminding me of the pending adventure I am just three months shy of and how quickly I need to get some things in order!!! We just bought our first baby item last week, too! A little dresser (see below!) we made into a change table made by a little Filipino man for 20-some bucks! Now we just need a crib, a trash can, and a shelf.....we'd love to get a rocking chair as well, but we'll see. Little by little we are trying to put some moola away to purchase an item here and there. Tim is especially excited to meet our little lady....he can't wait.

Thank you all for the many comments and encouragements this passed week...Tim is taking your advice and trying to take one day at a time. He is such a good hubby....and God is good all the time. Thank you for your prayers as we continue to seek and serve, grow and challenged and stretched. Be blessed!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Judges 15:16 (King James Version)

So I've been having this problem with my jaw. I can't help but clench it at all times. It's really irritating. The more I try to relax it, the more tense it seems to get. Bethany says that I'm internalizing stress. That's probably true. It certainly seems like a reasonable explanation. Except for one thing. I'm not stressed. Well, maybe I am, but I don't feel stressed. Except for my jaw.

I love my job. I get to have new adventures every week (why is 'everyday' one word, but 'every week' is two?). I'm helping to bring safe drinking water to thousands of people who need it. I have flexible hours and a cool little red truck. What is there to be stressed about?

We're having a baby in three months. Is that stressful? I think it's supposed to be. I don't feel stressed about it. Except in my jaw. Truthfully, the whole baby thing still hasn't sunk in yet. I understand that it's going to happen, and everything is going to change, but I don't really understand what that means. Do you understand what I mean?

The water project is growing very well. Tomorrow I'm going over to our new shop (Toti's old house) to get estimates on the cost of converting it into a really cool space. We're gonna tear down his house, put up a new roof, and pave the entire lot. Soon we're gonna have a big six wheel truck and we'll be making a ton of filters. We make 18 filters a week right now. That's not bad, but sometimes we have trouble keeping up with demand. Soon we're gonna be up to 24 a week, and we're just gonna keep growing.

I'm trying to figure out how to get various levels of government involved in our project. I met with a Barangay council on Friday to ask for their help. My hope is that they will pay for at least a portion of each filter we deliver to their community. I'd like it if they could help us identify the homes with the greatest need. They seemed to indicate that they don't have a very big budget, but I never know if they're just trying to milk the white guy for all he's worth. I really believe the government should be helping out. These are their people. Besides, according to my calculations there are over five million people on this island who don't have access to safe drinking water. We can't afford to pay for filters for each and every one of them.

My jaw is getting tight again. I think it's the whole attempt at government involvement thing that is stressing me out. Or maybe it's the whole baby thing. Or maybe it's all the little details in life that add up to a big mountain of baaaahhhhh. Like immigration. And rabbit droppings. And stuff like that.

Toti and I both got sick this week. And Bethany has been really ill (LBM) all weekend. Toti thinks that one of our customers poisoned him. He's threatening to go pour insecticide in her water filter. I told him that wasn't Christian. Anyways, our illness has put us behind on deliveries. But Toti did get to go to a far off Muslim area last week. He says the people are incredibly poor. I didn't get to go because being kidnapped would be inconvenient at this stage of my life. Toti says their water is very bad, and everyone stood amazed as he was able to remove the yellow colour and the offensive odor.

I'm a little worried about this jaw thing. I think I'm grinding my teeth day and night. Toti and I drink a couple of swimming pools of Coke every day. When we install filters, each family wants to bless us so they serve us Coke and bread. We usually do five installs in a day. That's a lot of Coke. Bethany says I should stop drinking Coke, but I don't want to be discourteous. I could stop drinking it at home I guess. I'm not addicted to it. I could stop drinking it at any time. I just don't feel like it. It's probably not good for my teeth. Copious Coke and grinding. I'm worried about my teeth. Maybe that's why my jaw is so tense...

Peace out.
It's been raining a lot lately.Seriously, it's been raining a lot here.
Sometimes the truck can't get there.
Sometimes a motorcycle can't get there.This is me talking with the Barangay council. Notice the reflection of my cool little red truck.This is our new property. I hope to show you the changes soon.I'm not sure what to say about this.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dealing with the Flu Blues...

Greetings!! Thank you all for the comments on the last post....we sure do appreciate them! And yes, that 10-inch worm really DID come out the patient's mouth. She and her baby are doing just fine, though. :)

This week yielded some pretty great craziness....

Tim and Toti moved the water project building site to Toti's house on a great plot of land. It needs just a little work, but can be used as both a training site and manufacturing site for the copious amount of filters being made! YEAH GOD! Tim and the gang were crowding out Jenn and Joe's backyard with all the filter goods....we are so grateful they were willing to let us use it for so long!

With a new plot of land, Tim and Toti have a new pile of work....Tim made the "good" mistake of promising 1,000 filters to 1,000 Muslim families just a ways south of Davao. And they are taking him up on the offer, much to Tim's surprise! Now Tim is just praying in the funds to finish their new manufacturing site, build a few more molds, and hire a few more able bodies to make these filters! What a wonderful challenge! 

Today he is in Santo Tomas installing 5 filters and giving another filter presentation with Toti! The work never ends! Tim loves his job....I have never seen him so excited about work and he is really beginning to enjoy the busy pace of life....I just keep telling him to wait until the baby comes!!! That'll be a busy pace like none other! Tee hee!

Promise is growing well...kicking daily, tummy's bigger, despite the growing discomforts, I am still happy to be pregnant and thankful for the gift. 

The birth room has been busy! On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of meeting the beautiful couple above...Deding came in looking VERY uncomfortable....I counted one contraction, did her vital signs, was in the middle of getting heart tones from the baby when I heard her say..."Ma' is coming!" Mmm. Okay. I told her to breathe deep and grabbed the birth cart and oxygen tank and heard her say..."BABY IS COOOOMING". Yeah, I think I got that the first time! So I told her to breathe again and we got her on the bed just in time for her to say, yup, you guessed it..."BABY IS COOOOOOOOOOMINGGGGG!!!!" And yup, the baby's head was just shy of crowning. 

I could tell she was just itching to give a good hard push and get that little one outta there fast, but I told her to "HA, HA....Hinay, hinay....HA HA!" Meaning...SLOW DOWN and BREATHE! She did! And it was a good thing! As the baby's head crowned I could feel that the baby's hand was coming along with the head, too! A very cute picture, but a very painful tear in the making if she just pushed her baby out hard! But her slowing the pushes enabled the baby to come without any tearing at all! Just a perfect 6 pound little lady named Riza was born. And though Deding's chart said that she was anemic, she barely bled at all and managed to go to the washroom without dizziness and was discharged before my shift ended! Praise the Lord!

That shift was soooo busy....4 births in 2 hours, three postpartum patients and countless baby checks. I started having contractions every 15 minutes and could not stop until the work was done. Got a little nervous about that one, but by the time I got home that night, my belly had slowed down some. Praise the Lord for that! 

Deding's bana was amazing, too....he noticed that we midwives were tired, busy, and terribly hungry, so while he went out to get his wife food, he purchased two bottles of coke and a BIG bag of sweet rolls! We were so blessed! The following day, he brought me a watermelon and a pineapple! And today he brought me more rolls and more coke! We midwives have taken a liking to this bana....his wife is magnificent and her bana is a blessing....he always brings so much to share!

Right now I am resting off a day of prenatal exams and baby checks waiting for Tim to come home from far, far away. Yesterday he was feeling soooooo sick...with diarrhea, joint aches, and a horrible headache, he was not in good shape. I made him sleep after he did a bit of work....he slept a good portion of the day as he was so concerned about his trip this morning. And then he gave me the flu. One positive thing about having the flu when you're pregnant is you no longer have to fight constipation! Everything just slides right out! The only problem is, it is not always at the most opportunistic time....and I am praying for Tim out in the bukid without a good toilet today. Our tummies are sore and eating is a chore...can't wait for this one to pass...sorry for the pun. I checked in with Tim twice today....a flat tire, they got lost, and it is threatening rain....poor, poor Tim. Please pray he gets healed along the way...that would brighten the already darkening day for him!

As for me, I have two days off of clinic duty to do homework...close to a bathroom. :) Thank you for all your prayers, support and encouragement! Please continue to pray for our protection both physically and spiritually....we've been hit from all sides this week! From contractions, to the flu, to a broken water pump! ARGH! It's a good thing God called us here and we aren't going to get discouraged! :) 

Be blessed!