Sunday, September 16, 2012

Super Busy Sunday!

Today was a super busy, but super good Sunday! I started the day with birth room shift. It was great! Our shift started at 6am. We arrived as normal 15 minutes early to change and noticed that the shift was going to be a busy day.

We were right! We had a birth right at 6:24 am... baby girl! I was able to assist immediately after the birth. This included giving two injections and learning to check the fundus!

Right after this birth (at 7:15am) in walked another labor. With the help of Brenda I was able to help admit her and worked on filling out paper work. Since she was only 3cm the supervisor decided to monitor her for a while and then see how she was doing.

In the meantime, our supply of pitocin was running low, so I was able to draw up several syringes for the rest of the shift... 6 should be enough in addition to what we already have...
Oh, we need more birth sets too! Time to sterilize the equipment!....

Then the supervisor comes and asked for me to accompany a baby to the ER due to fever, fast heart rate, and difficulty breathing. I went with another girl and the baby's family. It was my first transport of a baby. It was so sad... I tried to not let my emotions show....
Shame on all of us who complain about the ER in America. WE are able to wait in comfortable chairs with TV, WE CAN have family with us, WE are attended to quickly (less than a few hours), WE have the "right" to good care.... not so here... SHAME on us who complain about a visit to the ER and the lack of respect or the long wait.... what I saw today would break your heart!
As we drove up to the ER people were standing, waiting outside for their family inside. Families camp outside of the ER to wait, while their loved ones are treated inside. As I entered the ER with this little baby, I looked around to observe as the other girl helped the mother fill out the necessary paperwork... I saw stretchers lined with people. Over against one wall a person lay having a seizure as people walked by... a helpless bantay (watcher/helper) tried to hold his head still... on the other wall there were numerous people lying with IV's waiting for it to be their turn for care. An unconscious woman was rolled in... and her stretcher waited as her bantay filled out paper work....
After the baby received the needed paperwork we took them to the pediatrics line, where about half a dozen mothers waited with their babies and children for care. We waited with the mother for a little while and were then told to place her papers in a pile... we had to leave... it was heart breaking to see so many hopeless... just waiting for their turn....

How DARE we complain for what we have in America... You don't have to worry about if your baby will receive care.... think about it....

So we returned... my eyes opened more to WHY I am here... to try and share the LOVE that the LORD has given despite the hopelessness of life here...

Upon return I saw that our patient was still laboring well, but becoming more active... good, maybe she would have a baby on our shift!

Before I could think on that anymore though, another woman started to push... at 11:24am I was able to witness and assist with the birth of another blessed baby girl! Since the mother started to hemorrhage I took the baby to keep her warm while the midwives helped her mother.

Finally, things would calm down right?... NOPE :D

The young woman that I had helped to admit earlier was about through with labor :D I assisted (by taking fetal heart tones etc...)and watched as another precious life entered this world... a handsome baby boy at 12:47pm. This baby was born with a "body wrap" meaning the cord was wrapped around him.

As we worked on paper work, we had more buntis (pregnant women) coming in... by the time 2nd shift arrived (about 1:45pm) we were still keeping quite busy.

Well, the pitocin was about empty, so I decided to stay a little late to prepare some more syringes for second shift (who had all gone off to attend various active labors... 2 were pushing, 2 immediate post partum, and another who had just come in right before shift change)...

As I went to prepare pitocin, I stopped to help Brenda with checking the newborn baby boy when I heard someone call for assistance... I rushed over in time to help chart, nope, pass off the chart, glove up... assist.... check heart tones, SROM, check heart tones again and mom's vitals... in the midst of this (baby was starting to crown) the supervisor and another assistant come in.... I back off and watch the baby emerge... the thick mec staining, baby not breathing. I helped start the oxygen and watch the midwives work.... and then went to get supplies that were needed but not in the room (both of the birth carts were taken).... Another little boy.... time check.... 3:32pm....

Ok.... we are about done.... another labor was transported... I was waiting for my friend to be done with her paperwork... off to clean the cubicles and prep for more labors... I finished cleaning up and drew more pitocin was drawn.... time check... about 4:30pm.... ahhh what a good day!!!!

Finally, I do a final hand wash and change out of my scrubs. My friend is also ready to go... a very busy, but very good shift :D Its what midwives do :D

As we finally leave the clinic (about 4:45pm) Brenda and I walk to a nearby mall for a bite to eat (we realized that we had only survived the day on strength the Lord had provided as neither of us had time to eat any lunch...) What a great way to end such a blessed shift... sitting on a high terrace with a good friend eating some shwarma and drinking bubble tea (a drink that is very sweet and has tapioca balls in it). We finished off with a dipped cone and headed back to our dorm enjoying watching the city lights on the jeepney ride back....

As I reflect on the day, a few things come to mind.... First, I am so thankful for all that the Lord has blessed us with, protection for the laboring mothers and babies, good friends, and just a reminder of why I came to the Philippines in the first place... And Second, I was convicted of all the complaining that we, ....that I do.... We tend to think that we have it so rough.... next time that you are tempted to complain... try to count all the blessings that you have...
"In EVERY THING GIVE THANKS: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18....

And as a final blessing in my day, I was able to listen to a sermon by my favorite Pastor :D Such a SUPER BUSY... SUPER BLESSED SUNDAY!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Here are some photos from my recent trip to the market with my good friend Melissa for her birthday....

Chicken Feet Anyone?

Prices are Pesos not $.... (about 41 pesos to a dollar)

Handmade baskets



Taxi ride (Melissa, Me,  Brittany)

We ate lunch at a local food court

I chose the fried chicken, lumpia and rice...
 the lumpia and chicken were both cold...

A Jeepney

Another Jeepney

In A Jeepney

The following pictures are for my little sister!
For Anna!


This is a chicken who lives next door to us, but frequently tries to visit.
 She hops up onto the fence and looks in!

The next few pictures are of what I found at the second market....
Cute Backpack/side strap bag (it converts!)

My basket

an organizer

So that about sums up my market trip this last time. Give you a little bit of an idea of what it is like! It was a fun day, but it is still hard to experience... the city makes me appreciate the country so much more... I definitely miss the Maine woods!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Slow and steady.... chomps down a weed?

 Day to day life gets to be busy here. You have so many different things to do, papers to write, language to study, house hold chores, and volunteer time at the clinic. It is great!
Some days, though, we just need to take a break and slow down our busy life. Even taking it slow one can get a lot done... slow and steady wins the race (or eats a huge weed in your path) :D
I was reminded of this the other night when my housemate found this "little guy" and showed him to me. It was a very neat experience to watch him.... it was almost unreal....what a blessing to get a glimpse of God's creatures!

Meet Mr. Snail
Here you can see the tall plant that he has broken in half with his persistent chomping!

Here he is compared to a hand!


A good little reminder of how powerful one can be with determination!

Just thought I would share this little reminder! Have a blessed day and continue slow and steady on the path God has placed you! And enjoy watching the little guys He places along your trail!!!!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Earthquake, Jonah, and a good bye

It has been a very busy past few days!

 I guess it started a few days ago (August 31) with the earthquake. I am fine :D From what I read/heard it was a 7.9 earthquake off from the Philippine Islands. There was a tsunami warning sent out (it has since been dropped for my area). On the subject of tsunamis... just so none of you are overly concerned the harbor of Davao on the Island of Mindanao is protected from tsunamis by two islands.
I am very safe from them here :D hope that puts your mind at ease :D

My first earthquake was quite an experience!  I was sitting on the couch with my friend Brittany when I felt the couch moving... maybe she is tapping her leg... I look over and she isn't... and the couch is still shaking... more and more... "Uh, Brittany... we are moving...." we exchange a glance and a smile comes... "Earthquake!" we said.
So yeah... it was fun!

I was also able to observe a few more births. One was a baby girl named Jonah. Unfortunately her mother needed to be transported to the hospital right after birth. This meant that someone needed to baby sit :) yep... me! She was such a cute baby!!!!!

 Another Blessing was that I just "happened" to be there to see her first check up.  Her mother has since returned from the hospital.

The next birth shift I was able to observe 3 births! One of which was a stocky baby boy.... 9 lbs 13 oz!!!!!! It took a while to get him out due to shoulder dystocia, but with the Lord's help he and his mom are fine! It was amazing to be a part of his birth! I am always amazed when I watch the midwives!

Oh, the other thing that recently happened.... my house mates and I needed to say good bye to our little mouse friend Alfred... or Ralph... I guess he had a split personality...  We finally caught the little guy and were able to say goodbye for good!!!!!! (For your sake, I didn't take pictures.... )
Anyway, I have been able to start work on my next paper and have been studying Visayan a lot too... God is so good to be providing for me and giving me many opportunities to learn the lessons HE has for me!