Monday, June 16, 2014

Opening Eyes

The familiar sound of my alarm went off. I slowly opened my eyes, looked at my phone, knowing it was much to early for my alarm, and realized it was a call from the clinic. As I answered with a sleepy hello, the midwife on the other end gently explained that "Divina" was at the clinic and actively in labor. She offered to send the guard in 5 minutes in order for me to get ready. I thanked her and quickly climbed down from my bunk bed.

I had just enough time to put on scrubs, grab my backpack, and fill my water bottle by the time the guard arrived. On the short ride to the clinic, the guard explained that "Divina's" bana had left to go home and get some things without asking. Thus, she was without a bantay (watcher/companion) at this time. I tried to force my mind to wake up as we pulled up to the clinic and I jumped out.

As I entered the clinic, I saw "Divina" on her hands and knees near the post partum area. She was having a contraction and looked up at me pitifully. She whimpered "Help me". I quickly rushed to her side and helped her breathe through the contraction and then supported her to the birth room.

"Divina" was a sweet girl. This was going to be her third baby. However, she had lost her first baby 2 days after his birth due to prematurity. Her 2nd baby, a girl, was healthy and strong. During prenatal care, "Divina" had appeared to be scared about this baby and birth. I quickly tried to reassure her that all was normal to this point and we would do all we could to help.

As she reached the bed, I could see another contraction come over her. I encouraged her to breathe as  fetal heart tones and vital signs were monitored. She had only been 2-3 cm an hour before. As the next contraction came, so did a gush of fluid and tufts of baby's black hair were visible.

8 minutes later at 3:58am little "James Aldritch" entered the world. I was so thankful to be able to see this mother grasp her new son and welcome him with tear filled eyes. It was less than 30 minutes from the time I first opened my eyes until I watched this little baby open his eyes for the very first time. An hour later as the sun peeped through the clinic windows, I knew I had a long day ahead, yet I also knew there was no better way to start the day then to welcome a new life into this world.

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