Birth in the Dominican Republic

My shift has changed this week to the afternoon 2-10 so we have spent the morning shopping locally.  I wish we could negotiate with Wal-Mart in the States the way we negotiate here!  I really would enjoy the time to do all the touristy museums and things but I want to be with the moms more.

We had a mock scenario skills class before one of our shifts.  A wonderful midwife specializing in disaster relief threw out some worse-case topics and we walked through them which included shoulder dystocia (shoulders of baby getting stuck) and having to go in after the placenta.

BOTH things happened to me today in separate births.  It has really been amazing.  I had a 4 handed catch yesterday, and my own today until the dystocia and a doctor stepped in to pull on the baby while I went in after the shoulder.  (Yes they do things much different here but you have to work with it)  They forcefully deliver the placenta and as I was doing so I felt it tear.  They weren’t convinced until I followed the cord up to feel for sure it was separating from the placenta.  It was, so the doctor went in to sweep it out.

Then I sutured!  The mom had a small tear so a wonderful doctor that I want to put in my pocket and bring home guided my hands during suture and let me solo some stitches.

I know some of you reading this are wishing you weren’t.  Sorry, I feel like I am telling my story to other midwives 🙂

There were some great coaches today and the other team members got deliveries too.  There are things I am getting to experience here that I would otherwise never get to in the States.  Some wonderful things and sad things.  I have seen several dead babies born, one already born full term and beautiful but just would not live, and many preemies; some making it and some not.  I am thankful for all the experience as I know it is preparing me for what God has laid for the future and I LOVE IT.tumblr_n1y4yhQAIV1tq2w11o1_400another post..

Again, to reiterate it is not the fault of the doctors, nurses or workers.  It is a fault of a system that has somehow lost the ability of upgrading to modern times along with the rest of its culture.  Part of my heart can’t help but blame the US in passing down these ‘upgrades’ of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s but there has to be some responsibility on the part of the native country for always thinking the US always does it best thus copying without question. Think about this the next time you want to run out and get that flu shot or new vaccine or new diet food or drink or the next time you must vote on a seemingly wonderful education reform, tax reform or welfare reform.

The ability of learning is there for this hospital and country, the technology is available but a break in the cycle just isn’t visible. PLEASE NOTE that I am referring to a public hospital that gives free or low cost care.  There are private hospitals with modern conveniences but I can not say just how modern as I have not witnessed but would love to. I can say breaking the circle at this hospital is why we are here and if it works, it will spread.

In the midst of more than three dead babies the last two days there has been happiness.  Three of us got our first catches.  Talk about in the midst, I stood by a mom who knew she was delivering a stillborn child, her first baby too.  After her delivery with a four inch episiotomy, she got off the stirrup table holding her IV, catheter and wearing the dress she labored and delivered in and WALKED across the hall without a pad.  My friend and I helped her wash off.  She did not have a change of clothes and her shoes where not worth wearing.  Using some of the supplies many of you graciously supplied, we took care of her.  Taking her to her bed to share with another mom, the mom I delivered yesterday was in the next bed!  I got to take pictures to remember them forever!  I call her Lelani and she has not yet named her daughter.

I can not express how great if feels to serve.


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