Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Head Visible, Head Out, Baby Out!!

Another baby was brought into my hands last night. This one didn't need pulling in anyway and actually caught us all a little by surprise. This mom who had come in at 1pm, just an hour before my shift began had been a little stubborn to try techniques and position changes we were suggesting to get her rather slow transition phase finished. She had actually spent some time pushing before she was ready, then finally moved into the requested hands and knees position to get rid of some swelling she'd now acquired on her cervix from pushing too early. This woman was a mother of three already and was expecting her fourth child. I learned that sometimes when the women who come through don't really know what's going on with their bodies, especially those who've had babies before, they tend to push ahead to just 'get it over with'. No matter what I or the supervisors told her she wanted to do her own thing. She did finally stay on her hands and knees for quite some time, then I noticed her intensity of pushing was changing and she was having some perineal bulging, which is a great sign of baby progressing. With how slow things were going prior to this point all of us thought the pushing would be a little slower than expected. Boy, were we wrong!! I notice with my next glance I could see black hair, so I shouted "head visible" to the supervisors who were outside of the birthroom. In the same breath shouted "head out"!! There was no time to get sterile gloves on. I then shouted "body out" as this darling little vigorous baby arrived safely in my hands. The whole event unfolded within 30seconds. It was a lovely birth, despite the panic of how quickly it took place. This mama had given birth to a lovely boy. I'm please to say I now have the 'million dollar' portfolio with one boy and one girl so far on my list of births.

God is so gracious to be allowing me this honour. My health seems to become compromised though every time I have a birth. Not sure why. Please keep me in your prayers about this.

Chad is in Korea doing music with Russ Rosen. Please pray for his protection during his time there. He will be staying until the 15th of November. What I do know is they're playing for an Intercessors and Prophets conference. He said the musicians he's with are fantastic and it's great playing with good players again. He will have an update and pictures soon enough.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

I'm a Baby Catcher Now!!

October 31st, 2007 was the day I got to experience what it is truly like to be a midwife. At 3:24pm I caught my first baby while on my swing shift. IT WAS AMAZING, yet at the same time so natural. I am humbled that God has called me to do this and now I was doing it. I wasn't jumping through the roof with joy like I thought I might. I was totally at peace....and totally TERRIFIED!!. Ate (atay) Mayflor, my supervisor was by my side during the delivery, and I didn't want her to leave. I carry so much knowledge in my head, but in the moment I went completely into "I don't know what I'm doing here!!"mode. Let me begin the story...

I wasn't sure if today would actually be the day I'd catch my first baby. First of all my supervisor has to feel I'm ready to move on and secondly a woman in labour has to show up. Just as I was doing a baby check that had come in just when our shift began, the guard called that a labour had entered. Ate Mayflor, my supervisor, said "give it to Naomi". I guess she felt I was ready. Ate Susan, the supervisor who was supposed to be going home, kindly took over the postapartum check I was doing and allowed me to check in the labouring woman who was "not very active" according to one person. Our routine at the clinic is to have the women come in to pee and wash first, then we check their vitals and assess if they are able to stay based on how progressed they are. My labouring mom was in the CR (comfort room/bathroom) when I got her chart, so I didn't see how active she really was in her labour. She had arrived at the clinic around 2:55pm. When she came out of the CR she was saying how "Sakit" or "painful" the contractions were. I took her to the bed to check her vitals. Her facial expressions told me she was active, especially as this was her 4th child, but I kept running through the motions of the routine check.
As I was measuring her fundal height and getting heart tones, the mom (named Hyde - pronounced 'Heidi') gave me a look that said "I need to push". It was now 3:10pm. I asked her where her 'bana' (husband) was and she told me his name was Bernie and he was waiting outside. I ran outside saying to my supervisor, "she wants to push" and called her 'bana' to come in and wash up. Fortunately Ate Susan was still there to explain in Vizian what the father Bernie was to do and got him all in order before delivery.

I headed back to Hyde and proceeded to don some sterile gloves. The waters had ruptured at some point (we didn't know when exactly), but did not 'explode' all over me, which is common here. It was a gentle birth. Hyde laid on the bed, opened her legs and there was already opening with some head visible. She began officially pushing at 3:16pm. I was gloved and ready to go as I knew things were going to be swift. The moment I was sitting at the end of the bed realizing I was at the catchers end, it completely terrified me. My heart was racing, but at the same time I was totally at peace with the entire event. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was exactly where I belonged, doing what I was called to do. It only took eight minutes. I guided the mom to 'ginghawa' (breathe) as the head was emerging. She did amazing!! It was incredible holding the baby's head back as she was guiding the baby out with her breath. I didn't realize how much I'd have to pull the rest of the body out though after the head emerged, but it was quite a tug. There was no cord around the baby's neck, but the baby was large. Fortunately baby emerged causing mom only a skin splint and nothing more. It was amazing!! The thought process going through my head of what it felt like for me at that moment when the little legs were coming out was so vivid. I thought "oh she is so much more relieved feeling those legs come now". We both knew the hardest part was finished. Baby was born at 3:24pm.

As soon as the baby was out, all I could think about was getting that baby to prove it was breathing well. Within less than minute I saw this beautiful baby cry out in it's first breath. I didn't even know at this time the gender. As soon as I had the assurance of life, I brought baby up to mom's abdomen and asked the parents what they had. My wonderful assistant opened the legs and Bernie, the father said in a very straight, stunned voice "a girl...". I soon learned they had three girls at home. I promptly said "now you have four", with a huge grin on my face:-). He was very happy once he got over the shock. It was funny to see his reaction. What a great dad. He was all over getting the bath ready when the time came, washing the plastics after the birth and getting food for his hungry wife. It was beautiful.

I also got to do my first newborn exam. It was great being able to apply what we are learning right now, right after my first catch. It so happened, this HUGE little girl named Jonhy Vine was not happy unless she was attached to her mother's breast from the moment she arrived into the world. I ended up having this beautiful little person yelling at me through the entire exam. I guess she was training me to operate under stress;). I did alright and even got complimented on how I did from my darling supervisor Ate Mayflor.

This birth was amazing. I was so stressed to get to this point and now I'm there things are so much more relaxed. Now I'm a midwife. I will be learning the skills necessary to assist and support women in giving birth on a very different level. The timing was also perfect in that I got the last six hours of the shift to really realize how much paperwork goes into being a midwife. UNBELIEVABLE!!
God is so faithful. I was so afraid of getting my hopes up to catch at this shift, but God brought the right mother for me just like I had asked. Hyde was so grateful after the birth, even after I told her this was my first time catching (after the fact of course). She was so gracious and didn't even bat an eye. I was so honoured to be there for her. What an amazing experience.

Mom and baby are doing very well. Hyde looks like she hasn't had a baby and Johnsy Vine is thriving. I did their first postpartum check-up the following day and will see them again tomorrow for their day three check in. I look forward to seeing them.

My Trip to the Mountains

This is Chad providing you all our latest update.

Well I finally did it. I went out on my first trip into the mountains. It was only suppose to be a four-hour car ride and an hour hike, but ended up being quite the adventure. Eight of us, headed up by Mordegai, who has ministered in the mountains of Davao for the past 11 years, started our trip at 4:00am. To start off our journey – while driving through the banana plantations – our tiny open top multi track vehicle was hit by pesticides. No kidding! We saw the plane overhead at the last minute and before we could get the tarp out and up, several of us got hit. I love the smell of pesticides in the morning. That was most enjoyable. Anyway, our trip turned into a five and a half hour drive and a much longer hike. The first delay was met in the river on our way up the mountain. The multi track got through most of the watery crossing. We were just past mid-way when we realized the floor of the river was too muddy to cross over. This now meant we all had to get out into the river to push the vehicle back out to find another route. We had to cross the river individually on foot while Mordegai took the multi track up and over another way. After that it was smooth sailing…kinda;)

The next challenge involved very large mud traps. Again, we had to get out of the vehicle and push with all our might to dislodge it from the mud. This ended up being a very ‘dirty’ job, which happened three or four more times. Twice we had to literally pick up the back end of the multi track to lift it out of mud in order to move it to solid ground. Eventually the time came to abandon the vehicle altogether to begin the hike down the mountain into the village we were going to minister. Because of the amount of physical work we’d already done with our journey so far, we decided to hire a few men to carry the bags of clothes we were bringing to the village down the mountain. I, along with a few others, spent an hour repeatedly falling on our rear-ends down the mountain to finally arrive at the swinging bridge. Now, unlike the Capilano Suspension bridge, this one had large gaps of missing planks. There is nobody to sue out here if you fall into the river. We crossed the bridge safely and arrived at the village very tired.

We bags we had brought contained clothes, medicine and sandals for the villagers. The village was called “Tapikis” and they speak their own dialect, which is different from Visian. The children greeted us enthusiastically and were thrilled as we handed out clothes and sandals. Most of the children didn’t wear sandals. Not because they didn’t want to, but because they couldn’t afford the 50 pesos to buy sandals, nor were they able to travel into the city to purchase them. We played with the children and Mordegai spent part of the morning providing primary health care and doing some teeth pulling. It was such a blessing to be able to bless the people at this village and be a part of the practical application of the Gospel. We also had opportunity to lay hands on the sick and prayed for one man who was deaf and another woman who had stomach pain. The people have so little, yet they fed us noodles and canned fish for lunch. Shortly thereafter we headed back home.

We now had to go back up the way we came, which was no Lynn Valley hike. We eventually made it and were completely exhausted by the end of it all. The hike back up the mountain took about one and a half hours. The trip down the mountain in the vehicle was much smoother than the trip up. The opportunity for me to go on this outreach trip was a remarkable experience.

The Sunday before this trip, I had the opportunity to lead worship and preach for the church split we are attending. It had been a long time, but I was in the groove of the Spirit and didn’t feel like I was in foreign territory. It was a little disconcerting though when at the end of my sermon the people clapped. I found that odd. Naomi and I haven’t committed entirely to the church now that the split has happened. Please keep us in your prayers as we seek God’s Will for this difficult situation.

Naomi continues to do well at her work scoring a 98.7% on her last assignment and doing equally well on her test. She will soon be catching babies and may already have caught her first one by the time you read this letter. I’m sure you’ll hear all about it on the blog. Naomi was also pleased to meet up with one of her continuities who had been missing in action for nearly two months. She had done a prenatal on one woman who ended up finding she had growths on her uterus after an ultrasound. The growths turned out to be of no concern for the pregnancy and she was able to continue her care at Mercy Maternity. Naomi and another student had prayed healing over her body. The tumours are still present, so please keep this woman in your prayers for complete healing. Her name is Rose and she is expecting her first baby in late February.

Jordan and Noah are growing so fast. Jordan fell off the bed the other day. I felt horrible. He is quite capable of moving over the pillows on the bed, so he won’t be left alone there anymore. Noah is becoming very good at negotiating lately and often challenges why we ask him to do one thing or another. He is a very bright boy and a blessing to us.

God has opened a music opportunity for me to play worship in Korea on the 5th of November with Russ Rosen. Please pray that the flights and immigration go smoothly. There are no standard rules for immigration here. You have to pray that you get an immigration officer who woke up on the right side of the bed with a hot coffee in hand in order to get through sometimes.

All in all everything is going well. Our support is still down and we are beginning to feel it. Please be in prayer for that. We are blessed to be keeping you up to date with what is happening in our lives. We love you all and look forward to hearing from each one of you. Do continue to keep in touch with us. You’ll hear from us again toward Christmas, or perhaps sooner.

Pictures to Follow...as soon as I can find them:)