Wednesday, July 2, 2008

We Need These!

They have these signs posted all over the pediatric ward at the hospital. Wonder what it will take to get our hospitals to have these placed everywhere?

Hospital Visit

Last night, before I was to start the night shift (which was completely dead, by the way, so don't expect a post), Christy, Medea (a student midwife here) and I went to the hospital to visit some patients. Christy and I needed to go and see Sharene and Jean and Madea had a continuity whose baby is 3 weeks old. Meldrine has been in the hospital since birth and is suffering from hydrocephilus. They are waiting for a specialist to see him, but are not sure when that is going to happen. We are all afraid he is going to die in the mean time.

When we walked in the room, we were happy to see that Meldrine and Jean were placed next to one another. We spent about an hour sitting and talking with both moms. Medea had gathered a special bag for her continuity from the donations I brought along. I had already given one to Sharene the night before at the birth. Medea's patient was giddy with excitement over the gifts. We helped her place Meldrine in the sling, hoping that with some more skin to skin bonding, he might try to nurse. At this point, I am not sure he is getting anything more than is in his IV. He has lost a lot of weight and does not look good.

Sharene would not say much. She was stand offish in the birth as well. She is only 20 and her bana is 38. He has another family and was not at the hospital last night. I encouraged her to try and get Jean to suck, but Sharene was not interested in nursing her. I am very worried for them both. Without Jean nursing or sucking at all, I am not sure how she is going to get nutrients. Sharene is responsible for feeding her at the hospital - there are no meals/formula brought in for patients.

The hospital is just as I remember it - nothing is different or shocking, but yet, it still rocks me to my core. The people deserve more than this and yet, they are still so grateful. We prayed with both families and left them with food, but it really feels so small in the grand scheme of things. I know God is the God of Miracles and they definitely need one.

Christy also posted a blog on our trip to the hospital - she seems to do such a better job with words than I feel free to check it out if you are so inclined.

Meldrine and his mommy.

Sharene and Jean.

1st Birth with Christy

On swing shift on Monday, I caught another baby. Mom, Sharene (whom I learned her name after the birth) walked in the birth center at 2:45 pm and baby Jean was here at 2:46 pm. That's the way to do it if you ask me!
Christy and I have been friends now for close to three years. During that time, our relationship has grown and strengthened. I often call her bounce midwifery related issues off of her and visa versa. She has been a true blessing in my life, but after all this talk, we had never done a birth together - until little Jean's birth. It was wonderful having her there by my side assisting. Now, if I only I could convince her to move to Utah.
I ended up transporting Jean at the end of the postpartum period because she didn't seem to have a suck reflex, therefore had not nursed and was having labored breathing. Please keep her in your prayers as she was still there last night when we went to go visit her.

First Catch!

After the mom and baby from the taxi birth were moved inside, we did endorsements. I was first up since I hadn't caught a baby here yet. I was endorsed a first time mom who had been laboring outside all morning. Her bana was very supportive and bringing her food and rubbing her back. After a 40 minute pushing phase, little Choleen Faith was born into my hands over an intact perineum. Her mother, Jocelyn did an excellent job and was so strong. Little Choleen was 5 lb 10 oz. I saw both Jocelyn and Choleen yesterday at their one day postpartum visit and both seem to be doing very well. Jocelyn seems to be doing well with her new motherhood and Choleen loves to nurse. I get to see them again for another checkup tomorrow :)

Taxi Birth

Monday morning I was scheduled to work day and swing shift. I got to the clinic a little early - just in time to see my first taxi birth. We were sitting around in the midwive's area in the birth room getting ready for endorsements when we heard some commotion and everyone started to run outside. A couple of the other midwives jumped in the taxi and caught the already crowning little girl. Baby was born in the taxi and right after mom with baby still attached was wheeled into the birth room to clean up. I am not sure the taxi driver ever got paid either.
Here is the little princess.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Carlie's Big Impression

Last night (Saturday night), Christy and I went to the mall (hence why we were in the taxi). There we got some birth supplies for cheap at the medical supplies store. Umbilical cord scissors at home start at $30 and go up. I got a pair yesterday for around $3. I am thinking of buying a 10 year supply for that price.

For dinner, we went to a place that Carlie, my mom and I went to a handful of times last year. Immediately, I recognize a couple of the workers, but I assumed that after 10 months, they wouldn't remember me - especially since I did not have Carlie with me. Near the end of the meal, all three came up to us and asked about Carlie and my mom. They referred to her as Sweetie Carlie and one of the servers said she still had Carlie's picture on her phone wallpaper. Isn't that sweet?

Here is a picture with one of them...excuse how horrible I look. :)

Today's Shift - Sunday 6/29/08

I worked the Day Shift today - from 6 am - 2 pm. We just had one birth today and it was a continuity of student midwife here. I was honored to sit in on the birth. A nice 8 lb baby boy was born at 7:07 am after the mother being at the clinic for a little over an hour. They were both expecting a little girl, but seemed thrilled with their surprise.

Here is the little guy.

Taxi Rides

For those of you that have never been to the Philippines will probably have a hard time understanding the "rules of the road" here or maybe I should say the lack of "rules of the road." Let me fill you in a bit...the bigger you are, the more of the right of way you have. Therefore, big rigs and buses have right away over jeepnees and jeepnees have right of way over cars, cars over tricycabs and tricycabs over pedicabs and pedicabs over pedestrians. There are not many stop lights, stop signs of street signage at all. You can pick a lane or make your own. Horn honking lets you know to move out of the way or risk getting hit. It is crazy to say the least, but I do have to say the Filippino People have awesome depth perception. I have no idea why you don't see more accidents. They come within inches of hitting one another and yet don't. It blows my mind.

All of that said, I have taken some pretty crazy taxi rides here, but nothing tops last night ride to SM Mall with Christy. Our driver was a middle aged man with some road rage issues. I felt horrible for Christy because it was terrifying. We joked that the plane was NOTHING compared to this. Anyways, I had to catch her expression of fear. I personally think the photo is hilarious. She does not see the humor though.

First Shift & Mystery Solved

I was scheduled to work on Friday night from 10 pm - 6 am. I was really excited to get back in the swing of things, but about 30 minutes before the start of my shift, I began to feel sick. My stomach was in knots and I was so hot. After visiting the C.R. (comfort room here - restroom to those of you reading) a couple times and then taking some Immodium AD, I was hoping that I could get through the night. During endorsements, I continued to feel sick. The room was spinning, I felt like there was an inferno burning in my body and my stomach was not ok. I ended up needing to go home for the night to try and get better. I was super bummed since there were 4 ladies laboring, but I didn't have any choice.
I woke up in the morning feeling completely normal. I had mentioned to a couple people that it felt like I had eaten a banana - I am allergic to bananas and get violently ill when I eat them, but I knew I hadn't had one.
Late last night, Carmen, a supervisor, came to me, apologizing profusely. She realized she inadvertantly put a banana in a mango smoothie she had made for me - not knowing that I cannot eat bananas. I assured her, I was not mad and just glad to know what the deal was.
I am just glad I am not sick now :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Trip to the beach...

Yesterday, we had some free time before I started my first shift at 10 pm, so we decided to take advantage of it and we headed over to Paradise Island. The weather was super mild and absolutely beautiful. We spent the day reading, relaxing, swimming and snorkeling. It was wonderful.

Reuniting with Old Friends

We arrived early Thursday morning and I had previously made plans to meet with a patient and her family that I served last year for dinner. By the time dinner time rolled around, Christy and I were exhausted. We had been up with very little sleep for close to 48 hours. We met Honey and her husband Andy and their three kids for quick bite at Victoria, a local mall. We ate a Chow King and unfortunately, I couldn't enjoy it much because I was so tired. Regardless of how exhausted we were, it was great to see Honey and Andy again. We have been keeping in contact through email for the past 10 months, but there is nothing like seeing someone in person. I cannot get over how big their kids have gotten. Honey has been busy raising them. Joshua (age 5) is in school for a couple hours a day, but Glaiza (age 2) and Khyle (10 mos) are at home with her. Andy quit his job at a local mall and is now going back to school for computer sciences. I am praying that it opens up more doors for them.

My dinner - sweet and sour pork.


Like I said in my previous post - our flights were good - just so long. I am not sure how I did it last year with a 2 year old!

We flew Northwest Airlines from LAX to Tokyo and then Tokyo to Manila. They served us a couple different meals and they were great, at least for airline food and compaired to what we got on Philippine Air last year. The seats were incredibly small and our knees were jammed into the seat in front of us, but we survived. It isn't really fair that they make you walk through first class to see what you are missing. Man, those big seats and leg room looked so nice!

For some reason, my camera erased the pics I took before we got to Tokyo :( I am not sure what happened, but they are gone.

Here are some from Tokyo and Manila.

Christy at take-off. She doesn't think this picture is nearly as funny as I do... Needless to say, she isn't fond of flying.
We held hands for every take-off and landing. I am going to miss having her on the way home. Isn't it nice to have friends?
Look what I used in Tokyo? Probably more than anyone wanted to know, but I had to try it. The other toilets were like ours in the States, only they played a flushing sound to hide the sound of you using the restroom. Helps with privacy, I guess :)
McDonald's in the Tokyo airport. I paid about $8 for a double cheeseburger, fries, coke and apple pie. All but the apple pie were the same as we get in the US. The apple pie was deep fried. It was yummy!

Greasy - just like home!
Waiting in line at Immigration in Manila.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Christy's blog

Christy is keeping up her blog better than I am. If you are interested in more details from the past 36 hours - check hers out.

We're here!!!

Just wanted to let you know we arrived safe and sound in Davao early this morning. Our flights were good - just long. Right now, we are heading to the store to get some supplies. I'll try to update with pics soon!