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 supported...like 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 life.....as is my belly. She is quite the acrobat now!! God is so faithful.