Friday, October 2, 2009

"When it rains....

it pours"....and so it has. As many of you know, the Philippine Islands have been hit hard by brutal typhoons the last two weeks and one is currently on the way. The President in Manila has considered the country in a state of disaster. Like you, we have only heard and seen pictures and testimonials of the terror of the typhoons. In the clinic, I have had many patients concerned for family members they have been unable to contact. Thankfully, Davao City and the island of Mindanao has been spared receiving only heavy rain and wind. A few lower-lying parts of the city have flooded, but very little. The devastation has been limited to the island of Luzon so far.

As we receive news from internet, newspapers, and friends, we are very aware of the need for intense prayer for our neighbors in Manila, but also in Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan. Please pray, too. Thank you.

This week it has been "raining" in the clinic, too....babies, that is. I was looking at my calendar this morning and counted 8 deliveries in 3 weeks. That's a record for me! Eight babies, eight mommas, and 40 baby checks over the next 6 weeks. This week alone I had the privilege of delivering 3 babies, 2 on one shift. What a zoo! One delivery in particular blessed my socks off.

I had met Teche about 3 weeks ago in prenatals and noticed that she had been Jes' patient (a former student) and Jes couldn't continue caring for her because she had to return to her I debated whether or not to take her as a continuity. I decided against it concerned I would inconvenience Promise and Tim if she decided to deliver in the middle of the night. Well....on her due date, October 1, I just happened to be working day shift and she walked in. We saw each other and burst into loud hellos and laughter! Her smile is priceless....we hugged and thanked Jesus for allowing us to be together on her special day! I've never had such an amazing greeting from a patient....and I got to be her midwife. I was so honored.

Teche labored AMAZINGLY....her bana at her side, she smiled the whole time telling me all the things she needed to do to get the baby out. And she was right. She had delivered her other two babies at MMC, so this was old hat to her, so I just monitored and enjoyed her company. Meanwhile, I got another labor....three baby checks....and another patient pushing...ha ha fellow midwives all had labors, births or both! We were insanely busy, but loving every minute...there was never a moment where we were short or frustrated....just driven and busy.

Teche continued to labor...then the smile left her face with the wave of a heavy contraction...but she started to have intense pain in her lower abdomen. She had a UTI and I knew she had only been able to pee a bit here and there. I told her that before her baby could come, she would have to pee. She laughed at me and explained to me exactly why she would have to do that..."To make room for the baby's head and so that I do not have to get catheterized". Yup. She'd done this before. I found out later that she had studied nursing and completed a program here in the Philippines just as she found out she was pregnant with her first baby!

After peeing like a champ (believe me, it's hard when you're near the pushing stage!!), she wanted to push....just like that, a beautiful 6 lb. baby girl, Lois Ariel, arrived. Beautiful. Healthy.
Here they be!

Then another labor came in....between the postpartum checks and bathing of babies, fundal checks, another baby was born...and another. Then a patient I was sharing with my supervisor (depending on who was busier) wanted to push. She was 7 cm, but really wanting to push. Jean was in so much back pain she was crying out in frustration and fear. Her first baby, she labored with intense concentration, trying to follow my instructions to breathe instead of pushing.

We finally had to take her to the CR (washroom) to take a shower/half bath to get her mind off pushing. It worked...10 minutes after taking a bath, her baby's head dropped just behind her pubic bone and her bag of waters was visible. YEAH! Jean pushed her baby out slowly...there wasn't much room for her baby to come out of! And yet, she controlled her pushing and our eyes met, we breathed together 7 deep breaths and her baby came....beautiful 5 lb 15 oz. baby boy. And here is Jean, baby Kent, and her hilarious bana. He cheered out loud and did a lap around the birth room when the baby arrived. :) Five babies born in 4 hours.

Wednesday also brought me a wonderful patient. Claire came in wearing a huge smile and a huge personality. Delivering her baby without a boyfriend or partner, Claire was not at all shy about her situation and loved having another baby. I was a little caught off guard by her transparency. She had several friends coming in and out wanting to help, but chose her close friend and neighbor to be there for the birth. Baby Rafael was born sporting his umbilical cord around his neck and spilling meconium everywhere, but super healthy despite. And there they are!

I later found out that Claire's neighbor has been married 7 years and has never been pregnant. That's huge here. And I can relate to the disappointment and frustration of desiring a child...

I had an awesome opportunity to share how after 6 years of marriage and 8 years of being told that having a baby would be an impossibility, God did the impossible...Promise was born. I shared that God hears our prayers and for me, God gave me a child in His precious timing. It was not my timing and it required me laying down my deep desire to have children and just be obedient to what God asked of me, but when I gave the desire to Him, He fulfilled it. Not only that, but I knew that I was pregnant as a result of His grace and mercy, not of my own striving (like in vitro or trying to plan it). It was not planned...but it was God's plan. She looked astounded and alarmed. I offered to pray with her regarding her desire and exhorted her for being her friend's support during labor....I know the pain one feels when seeing another's joy. She excitedly agreed for me to pray.

We prayed for God's perfect timing and that He would show her areas of her like that she could work on during this season of waiting and that if He asked for her to give up her desire for children, that God would give her courage and strength and that He would give her a new vision and new hope for the future. It was cool.

Meanwhile, Tim and Toti have been working on several different projects, but Tim will post all that info tomorrow. He's great and he has been extremely attentive with Promise while I've been at work. As a result, Promise has grown quite attached to her playmate, Daddy. I have to say, He DOES light up a room. :)

Okay, I am tired and that's enough for now, eh?
Thank you all for your prayers after last week's stink week...this week was better for me, but I realize just how many of you are going through the poo, too. Praying for you.
Next week begins our patient Bible Study. An-An and I are nervous, but we anticipate the Lord showing up and doing what He does....we serve an awesome, loving Savior.
Be blessed.


roman said...

from Arkansas...
For starters congrats on the babies!
May the Lord bless all of ya...
I was wondering how much weather related trauma your enduring at this time?
any news from Glen Knight?
also have a family in the Angeles City, Pampanga area in a place called Mauaque...Bicol?
Any reports on conditions in this area?

Anonymous said...

You are right! What a great Savior we serve! You are such a blessing to these women in so many demensions! I am excited to hear what great things God will do through you and AnAn via this Bible study. Expect it! He is faithful! (we are praying for the folks there...having been there and experienced just a fraction of the flooding thing, YIKES!)
Loving you guys!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bethany,
It has been great reading your blog. You are a good writer. Ernie and I have just returned from our vacation and I needed to catch up on what was happening with you. We will be praying for your safety from storms and strength for you and Tim in all that you do.
We love you lots.

Anonymous said...

May you sense the Lord's strength, wisdom and love for the lost as you teach from his word and disciple his kids.
We love you and miss you lots,