Finally after 2 long weeks since baby #8 I helped deliver baby #9 today! A 4th child for this 20 yr old girl..she welcomed a healthy 3.2kg baby boy with lots of hair..One of the midwives even got a photo of me delivering the placenta..which is really neat..but a little graphic to share lol
I was lucky to catch the birth of a women who was 39 years old having her 8th baby! She came to shanti 10 cm dilated..within 5 minutes she started to push and we could see the water bag. Water bag was broken and 1 1/2 pushes later a 3..2 kg baby girl was born. After about 10 minutes the placenta was born and half hour later she was all dressed laying with the baby.. truly an amazing women and birth to witness
Welcomed baby # 6 and 7 today! All within 10 minutes. Was a packed day of cute babies and a lot of clean up. I first arrived to shanti with a mom at 8 cm and another at 7cm. After not even ten minutes of being there it turned into a women at 10 cm ready to push and another we were trying to hold off from wanting to push as we only have one delivery bed. The first lady her water was broken at 1235 to help move things along as she was already at 10 cm..then the baby was born at... 1254..this delivery wasn't just any old delivery..i was able to witness a birth that occurs in 1 in every 1000 approx births..it was a face presentation which means the babies face comes out first.. this was a very special experience and the midwife who had been working for 10 years had only seen one other one. For this birth being only my 9th delivery ever I feel pretty lucky to have been a part of this. After the baby was born i ran with my rubber boots to the antenatal room where the other mom was starting to push..as i put my sterile gloves on I was happy to announce a baby boy at 107. This baby was covered in thick vernix and weighed 2.9 kg..I was able to help deliver the placenta and later on help put up an IV line!
Baby #4!! Got to experience my 4th baby born at Shanti today. I was even lucky enough to have the water break on my feet lol ew...a healthy 4 kg baby girl was born at 1232 shortly after I arrived at Shanti to help out for the day. It was great to be part of a birth with the volunteer midwife and actually get to assist the momma with some of my doula skills instead of sitting back for the delivery and helping out wherever the midwives needed me and finishing all the paper work. The mother was really responsive to me helping and was very appreciative. After the delivery I assisted with 25 prenatal appointments which took quite a long time, and we were lucky enough to get hit by a massive thunder and rain storm! Successful busy day at Shanti!
Today I got to help out with my 3rd birth!! And the most scary and heart wrenching births I have ever been involved in.
Today I literally delivered a baby by its arm. All started with me and one of the midwives in the birthing room rupturing the ladies water as she had been in labour since the night before and was very close to 10 cm dilated.. as the lady began to push we realized that she was very weak and didnt have much energy to push. The babies head began to crown but the momma couldnt push her baby out..about half hour or so later the babies head finally came out but the lady was not strong enough to push the rest of the baby out..and then we see the thing we feared the most..the cord..which was being compressed by the neck..the room filled with many bodies but i still remained by the ladies side trying to prevent the cord from being compressed...a couple minutes had gone by and the babies head was turning blue..and the cord didnt feel like it was pulsing anymore..as minutes go by the midwives were frantically yelling at the women to push they had started to lose hope that we couldnt get this baby out..and get it out alive..i then noticed i could feel something hard by the babies neck..it was a small little hand trying to come out with the head..i told the midwife that i would try to get the babies arm out as there was no way the baby would be able to come out.. i was able to grab on to the fingers and got hold of the elbow and got the arm to come out over the head..with a good tug from me on the arm and the midwife on the neck we were finally able to get the baby out..the baby was very blue..we moved the baby up to the mommas chest and started to rub it to get it to cry and keep it warm but the baby was silent and was not moving..we all feared the worst..the baby had been stuck so long and the cord was possibly compressed that the baby could have lost its oxygen supply during the delivery..after a couple minutes of the baby on the moms chest the midwives ask me to do the hardest part..check to see if the baby had a heartbeat..as i walk over with the stethoscope i fear that i will have to tell everyone and the mother that i didnt hear a heart beat..but very faintly i heard one..the pulse of the cord was very weak but we did leave it pulsating for a couple minutes..after we clamped and cut the cord we got the baby to the table to assess as he was still unresponsive and not moving or crying..the baby was then rushed to the hospital...
in the end i am happy to say we had a tired but healthy mother and a healthy but oxygen deprived baby..so incredibly happy i could be there and help and witness such an event..
the one reason why i wanted to be in healthcare was to make a difference in someones life in someway or somehow. Today may have been the first time that i have felt this way..this is why i love what i do..maybe i was just a helping hand, or a calming face and maybe i helped save a babies life..either way it was an extremely rewarding experience and i an experience i will never forget
Today started off with a couple hours of antenatal appts at the shanti house with the intern midwife. After doing all the paperwork for the appts I took some time taking photos of all the pregnant mommas doing yoga exercises at the shanti hut. Just before I was about to head back to the volunteer house a women was in labour and was at 9 cm dilated. I stayed around to observe the midwives during the labour and did the documentation for them. The birth was very ...quick. After her waters were broken by the shanti midwife, she began to push a couple minutes later. After three contractions she delivered the cutest baby boy weighing 3.2kg.It was a very easy going birth with 2 shanti midwives present, the intern midwife and myself. It was great to be a part of the birth and many more to come hopefully. I still found it a bit difficult as they were speaking ugandan the whole labour so it was hard to follow what they needed and what was going on as the momma did not speak any english. All in all it was a very quick and easy going birth and I am excited to go see and cuddle the little baby tomorrow
Today we woke up bright and early for a CME (continuing maternal education) meeting. Our project manager made crepes for us all to enjoy while sitting in the sun and learning about post partum hemorrhage. What an interesting way to start the day off lol After spending a couple hours at Shanti we decided to walk back have some lunch and do some intern work. After getting some intern work done i decided to go to the Kasana hospital all dressed up in my scrubs ready to help out to fill up my afternoon. Shortly after getting to the hospital I was really unsure where i would fit in. I realized today how difficult the language barrier was going to be. As i went into the hospital I introduced myself and said I would help with anything they needed. After sitting around for 2 hours watching the midwife talk to moms and give babies injections I still had no idea what was really going on and how i would be able to help. There was one lady in labour that was about 3-4 cm dilated but i have found with the ugandian culture they tend to be a lot different and like to be left alone plus its hard when they dont speak english at all. I have found the culture and attitudes of the locals very different from home and not quite what i had expected. When the midwife got up and walked away i decided to just start to follow her. She went into a room where i could see past a sheet hanging over the door, a women laying on the examining table. I decided to stick close by and wait for her to come out. After a few minutes the midwife saw me sitting there and asked me if i wanted to come in and watch her suture a women who had just had a vaginal delivery. I figured it would be a good experience to see how they do it in uganda as i had seen it a few times already in canada. After a couple minutes of watching i started to feel a nit nauseaous. I wondered why i was feeling so sick to my stomach. After watching a bit longer i realized how harsh the suture treatment was. The midwife was very very rough and the lady was in a lot of pain,which was not at all my experence in canada, where it was a more gentle procedure and the women can at times hardly feel it. I tried to stay as long as i could to watch but noticed myself looking outside and trying to not throw up. After almost fainting i turned to leave the room, i grabbed my bag and told the midwife i had to to leave to go back to the intern house for some work. When i walked out of the hospital i started feeling a bit better. What i had witnessed was a bit tramatizing. I now realize how the care in uganda has very little empathy. They want patients in and out as fast as they can, and with very little support. I found this was difficult for me to watch how rough the procdure was going and how much pain the lady was in and all the midwife could say was a sly Soooorryyy. After this experience i think in general i will take away the knowledge of how i want to act as a healthcare professional and how important empathy and love really means to people in vulnerable situations. I may not be directly using my doula skills but i am learning about the maternity life in uganda and how it is greatly different than what i have experienced in Canada.
Day 3 -
I had good intentions on going out for my first run this morning with my alarm set for 7 am. I guess I am still a bit jet legged and having a hard time adjusting. I woke up at 2 am and didn't fall back asleep till 6 am. First thing when I got up we walked to the hospital to check out their maternity unit. All their beds were filled. There were about maybe 8 beds with the women all laying in the beds with the babies by their side under the blankets. They have one birthing room with a small bed and small baby bed area. Women typically stay here for 24 hours unless the birth turns to a c section where then they stay fr 48 hrs or more. From the sounds of the midwives in the hospital help is greatly needed and they asked myself and one of our volunteer midwives to come back at anytime to come and assist them but the description of what we would be doing was very vague. After checking out the hospital we took an 1/2 hour walk to the Shanti birthing center which is located in a nice quiet area hidden in the forest with many trees as well as some other houses around. The land at shanti is very well kept and many fruits and vegetables planted all around the complex. Their main building has their post partum beds which there are 4 and then the antenatal office where women come in and get blood test, expected due dates, measurements, medications such as iron, anti malarials, de worming pills etc. I was able to sit in on about 5 visits where the volunteer midwife was working with a Ugandan nurse assisting with translating the visit. This took most of our afternoon. At Shanti currently there were no active labors and no women in the postpartum unit. They have about 20 births a month which may make is more difficult to attend deliveries. The Ugnadan staff around Shanti were very nice and welcoming and were very pleased with us doing work for them. My job and days are very relax as i can bounce from shanti to the hospital as well as do my internet communications work whenever i want which makes it hard to see what my days will be like and if they will be filled with work. I have found that the staff here and ugandans are very relaxed and dont seem to use time management. I hope to be as busy as I can between the places.
Another long day without power. Apparently the longest the power has been out in 2 years in this area. Just my luck. And its another muggy cloudy and rainy day. Looks like we are getting the tail end of their rainy season and soon will be the dry hot season. Let's just say I've done more reading today and lastnight than i've done in years lol I had to start to read my travel books because my ipad was running out of battery. I have one power bar left on my ...new cell phone which i havent even been able to figure out how it works to call long distance to contact home. I did take my first walk into the small town of Kasana. Went to get some groceries for the house. The walk was short to town only taking about 5-10 minutes. The roads are all brown clay and full of garbage and children running around playing soccer. As well as chickens runnning everywhere. As we would walk by the children (prob almost 2 of the only white people in the small town) all the children would stop and start staring at us and talking to us in their language or some would be able to say hi. In the village there are small outdoor markets side by side. Vegetables and fruit are very cheap here for the most part if the fruit or vegetable is in season. We got a bag of tomatoes today which is about 5-6 for about 40 cents Canadian. The avocados are massive and we have our own tree as well as a mango tree in our yard. Everywhere you walk you see many pregnant women and young children and babies. After listening to the radio i learn t that 2-3 women a day get an abortion which is approx 90 a month which is shocking because abortion is illegal here. I am excited to go to shanti tomorrow and check out the birthing center as well as the hospital and see what my job will look like for the next three months. It sounds like volunteers are greatly needed so hopefully there will be lots for me to do. At shanti it sounds like they have children, women and teen programs.
Post 1: May be a little late but here are my blog posts from my eye opening experience in Africa 11 months ago ! 9 babies in 3 months
Well bad news..just found out my blog site has been banned from this country..so for now I guess i will just have to post my blog posts from here until i figure things out..
After two long days of traveling I finally arrived to Uganda. It was a mix of weather today from cloudy and very muggy to raining to sunshine. First task after being picked up from the airport was to go into the city and also Uganda's capital Kampala, and get a cell phone,data internet stick and some groceries. Lets just say shopping is a lot more difficult when things aren't in English, its a currency you have no idea what it is in comparison to Canadian dollars and different brands and items. Leaving the city was extremely busy. There were people riding motorbikes everywhere or they call them bora boras which they use as like a taxi service, people were honking and driving all over the place. It was very chaotic. Since the traffic was so busy it took us almost 2 hours to just get from the city to the small town where I live which is called Kasana. On the drive away from the city I started to notice the beautiful forests and the houses the locals were living in. Some made from scrap metal and some made from old trees and branches, some with doors and windows some without. Most people would sit outside their houses or shops and talk to locals or watch traffic. There were chickens, goats ad cows randomly wandering peoples lawns. Mostly tied to a string on their leg to a rock or tree so they could eat and "cut" the grass and wouldnt run away.The drive was nice and relaxing as we pulled up to where I would be staying for the next three months my mood began to change. Myself as well a 5 other volunteers and one worker are staying in a small two bedroom suite of one side of a house. There is a hot plate to cook, a small sink, and a small fridge for all 7 to share. There are bunk beds in the rooms and the bathroom has an open shower, where when you sit on the toilet you are half sitting in the shower. There is also a small very short sink and a broken piece of a mirror taped to the wall. As i began to open my suitcase i started to feel very overwhelmed. maybe it was the lack of sleep and the drastic change in lifestyle? As i began to unpack my things, I realized there was no where to really put my things and get settled in. I have all my clothes still in my suitcase and my toiletries on one shelf in the bathroom. After my attempt to unpack and gather my thoughts I decided that I would try to get my internet stick for my laptop to work as my computer died on me..and the adapter I have doesnt adapt to cords with ground plugs..so my computer is dead. Time to start forcing myself to read?
After I had read a litte and dozed off for a bit I felt a lot better. The constant birds chirping, roosters and babies making noises right next door made me happy I brought a few pairs of ear plugs. I am even lucky enough to enjoy my first night with the power out lol but on the plus side I think i figured out my cord situation for the computer.. now to make dinner..and to see my first cockroach in the kitchen
7 days. 7 days until i leave on my trip for Africa. I wanted to send a hugh thanks to all the nursing staff at cowichan lodge seniors unit for all their generous donations and kind words before my departure date. Make sure to check out my blog to find out whats going on in Uganda, Africa.
39 days until I leave on my trip to Uganda, Africa to help volunteer as a doula and delivery babies.
Follow my blog during my stay in Africa to learn more about my experiences, the culture and the wildlife. While I am in Uganda I will be living in a portion of a Ugandan Families home with approx. 3 other volunteers. There are bug nets around the beds and only cold water available. I will be helping out in a local birthing center in a small town called Kasana and also a nearby hospital assisting pregnant women living with HIV/AIDS. With only 39 days left before I travel its getting time to collect all my items and pack my bags. I want to thank my amazing nursing staff at Cowichan Lodge for all the generous donations of baby clothes, books, blankets, etc to take on my trip to give to children and families. I am getting super excited about my trip and I am looking forward in helping women and getting a new perspective on life.