Greetings! And Maligayang Pasko (Merry Christmas) to all!
As Tim shared, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of his brother, Jeff! It's exciting to have a piece of our family here for Christmas!
This week was absolutely crazy on my end. While Tim tied up the water filter business for Christmas, I was doing prenatal exams, catching babies, and writing an exam. I worked a shift on Thursday for a dear friend of mine from Mercy. She's headed home for good on Tuesday...we're praying she'll be back, but for now, she's heading out West. So Thursday was my very first 8-hour shift in the birth room. I had been working 4-hour shifts to help ease back in and to make sure Tim and Promise were able to cope without me.
Upon endorsements, I was handed a labor. Jackie Lou was laboring like a pro in bed number 4. All vital signs were normal, though her labor with her very first baby was approaching day number 3! She was tired, but by 4:08 pm, she was wanting to push. Fully dilated, though with a slightly swollen cervical lip, Jackie began to push....she moved from the bed to the birth stool, to hands and knees, to standing and finally to the antipolo (a cool birth stool thing). My supervisor, May, and my peers, Naomi and Julie came in to help. Jackie continued to push with her bana behind her, Julie bracing her left leg back, me bracing her right, Ate May with both hands inside Jackie's pwerta trying to get the baby's head passed the pubic bone, and Naomi charting....we were getting tired, so just imagine Jackie! She pushed for 2 1/2 grueling hours with us manipulating her body in strange contorted positions to help this baby come and at 6:29 pm, little John Carlos was born sporting the umbilical cord around his neck and thick meconium staining.....but he was breathing. Jackie was incredible. And I could totally relate to her laboring for soooo very long. Though Jackie needed antibiotics afterwards to avoid infection and an IV for exhaustion, she is healing great. However, John Carlos has been having some lung trouble as a result of aspirating meconium, so please be praying for this little guy. He is sooo beautiful. One of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen...despite the giant caput on his cranium!
The shift was a LOOONNNGGG one and I thought my boobs were going to explode, but alas, I made it home in time to feed the wee one, give her a bath, rock her to sleep and place her in her crib. Ahhhh.
On to Friday...I did a prenatal on my continuity, Cherry Mae, and then took an exam on fetal complications...didn't feel too hot about my performance on the exam. Ouch. Then Tim, Promise, and I headed to the orange house (where the other student midwives live) for an ice cream treat provided to us from Tiffany, a former student! Tiffany is a wonderful lady and gave us midwives $40 for ice cream! So 20 of us sat down to some Christmas cheer and 4 different flavors of ice cream! A package from my momma arrived and we were able to open it at the orange house....it was full of special treats like chocolate and coffee, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, and as you can see from the hilarious pic above...a special Christmas suit for Promise. Yes, Promise loves Christmas about as much as her daddy. :)
Saturday came and I headed, once again, to the clinic for my 2 pm shift. Having completed all my work, I walked to the clinic arriving at 1:30 pm....just early enough to be handed another labor! Jes, a fellow midwife, was coaching Cristie as she was pushing her baby out, but didn't want to stay too long after shift change, so she passed on catching the baby, so I quickly donned some gloves and headed into bed number 3. Cristie had only been pushing a few minutes. This was her second baby and she made the whole process look like it was as easy as brushing your teeth. Cristie and I chatted between her contractions and her mother sitting beside her filled me in on her family. Jes informed me on the patient's labor progress and any pertinent details and by 1:45 pm, Vince was born with his hand on his head and once again, the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. He was vigorous and healthy with a strong cry. Cristie only bled 350 cc and was sutured for a 2nd degree tear from Vince's hand bashing her perineum. She was up and walking around in less than an hour and is doing fantastic. The easiest birth I've seen or been a part of in a very long time!
I was able to head home around 6 pm to pick up Promise and Tim and head to Toti's church for some Christmas glee. Tired, but grateful, the week has come to a close and tomorrow I am on duty for prenatals followed by a full week of vacation! HALLELUJAH!! So Christmas is here and watching babies be born makes me think of Mary, the mother of Jesus.....how she must have labored on the long journey to Bethlehem, how unsanitary and lonely the delivery must have been without a midwife, doula or even anesthesia. :) How scared Joseph must have been supporting Mary as she endured such pain with hopeful anticipation of her Savior. How strange it must have been to hold the tiny baby at her breast knowing that it was really the Son of God....to desire to give her child all the best and precious things, but could only give Him a manger bed....Who was there to encourage her to breastfeed often, wash with guava-leaf juice daily to avoid infection, and to continue eating protein foods to stimulate healing?? How lonely.
Just a thought.
So that's my week at a glance.