Sunday, October 28, 2012

And just when it couldn't get any better.... PUAH!

I had a VERY blessed morning in the Lord's house! I enjoyed the preaching (a message on the importance of Christ) and the baptismal service. I thought my day couldn't get any better! But.... it did... then it didn't... then it did..
Let me explain...

I arrived at the clinic where I volunteer on time... just as planned... when my friend and I arrived we heard howling and yelling. We looked at each other and stated the obvious... Labor! During change of shift, I was informed that I would be able to help this woman with her labor. She was 9cm in labor... birth could be soon. I went in to get vitals. She was shouting Agai! Agai! (ouch! OUCH!) and thrashing around on the bed. I quickly took vitals and tried to tell her to breathe with me "Ginhawa, dili utong, GINHAWA" (breathe, don't push, breathe). She wouldn't have it. She looked at me with scared eyes. This wasn't her first labor. She had another baby. Before, sometime... the baby died while only a year old. The Badjao don't keep tract of time. So this mother couldn't tell us how old she was, how far along this pregnancy was, or how long ago her baby girl had died. She also didn't speak English.
I sat at the foot of her bed and breathed with her. She hollered. I started to pray. She looked into my eyes as I prayed aloud. She nodded. She knew...
After that she calmed down immensely. She was able to relax. She breathed with me through the pain. Time passed. Her body decided to purge itself. Her heaving brought in all 5 or 6 Badjao women who had accompanied her. They started crying, scared and not realizing that this was a normal part of birth. My friend Brittany and I had all we could do to stop the sobbing and comfort the family that she and baby were still ok. Heart tones were good,.. the baby was still ok...
After much reassurance, the women settled back and returned to the waiting area. My laboring mother smiled... she knew I was there for her. She trusted me. She knew I cared. We may not be able to communicate, but  the look in her eyes said it all.
After about four hours of laboring, the midwife checked and saw that no progress had been made. This was very sad for me. The bag of waters was ruptured and still labor did not progress. We tried various ways to help the contractions to speed back up, any way for progress to occur. She was not interested. She laid on the bed resting, waiting. What was going through her mind? Was she remembering her last birth? Was she wishing that her other baby was still here right now?
No progress was made and she was not pushing effectively when she did have a contraction. Time to transport. I looked at Brittany who had been by my side all shift and we tried to hold back the tears. "She needed your support. You did all you could do." I knew her words were true, but it didn't make the process any easier. The papers were filled out... the ambulance was prepared....

Up she bolted. She looked at me fiercely, knowing that transporting to the hospital was inevitable. With a mighty howl she started to bear down. 2cm, 3cm head visible... She screamed. We prayed. We had the stretcher ready... In what seemed to be a continuous unearthly scream and steady push (she was completely unresponsive to the attempts to calm her, to quiet her, to comfort her) the head emerged...
The scream continued.... a minute later the baby was completely born.... (I will exclude all the details, but let me say that one minute can feel like hours).... She was silent. She knew... she did it.... it was over....

It was a learning experience I will never forget. Sometimes you can't communicate verbally, but there are other ways to express your feelings. I learned a lot about just being there and offering service as needed. You don't always have to be the one solving the problems, but the one willing to sit and pray and offer sips of water as needed. It was amazing to me how attached and protective you can feel after only spending a few hours with a laboring mother... And birth... is always... a MIRACLE!!!!!!

As I before mentioned, the woman was a Badjao. The Badjao often ask for someone else to name their child. I was given the honor of choosing a name. I gave two suggestions, and they chose the name Joshua (Jehovah is Salvation). So in honor of my little brother, here is a photo of Baby Joshua....


A special thanks to Brittany, for taking the pictures and being by my side through this emotional shift... you are a great friend! Thanks!

3 comments:

  1. Wow what a Blessing for you and the mom my little puppy was borned last night at 9 20 pm going too name her preshes may not be spelled right as missey only had one Girl 3 boys and had them no problem. we took CJ too airport then aunt Theo too portamath too meet aund JUdy meet Cindy with her girl so now everones back home CJ gone too cherry point N. C. they set thir wedding date Aug.31st next summer Im so very proud off you and the work your doing love & prayers Gram

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  2. Every post you write makes me cry! Thank you so much for sharing these amazing experiences. And not just jotting down what happened for all to read, but for sharing what God did in your heart, or what you learned, or the burdens you took on....or walked away with! I love reading here :)

    What an honor to name that sweet boy! You are doing great! I know the Lord is pleased :) Keep on for Him!!

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  3. Proud of you Sarah! Much love from the north!

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