How do I even begin?
I guess I should probably start with a phone call at 1:45 am from Edeline. I mentioned her in my last post…. My momma in her 9th month. Her husband called and said, “her stomach hurts”. I had started treating her for a pretty bad urinary tract infection 2 days ago and her complaint was vaguely similar. So I started to ask more questions about contractions, the duration of the pain, and if her water had broken… None of her responses made me think she was in active labor. Her voice was calm and collected. She did not describe this pain as similar to her last 2 childbirth experiences. Megan and I told her to try to rest and that we would come see her in the morning.
At 4:18 I get another phone call from an unknown number and realize I have had 6 missed calls after going to sleep. It’s her husband again saying that the baby is coming and I need to come quickly. I sprung out of the bed and went to wake the rest of the house up so that we could go…. As I am running upstairs I see some people at the gate. It’s Edeline and her husband! They walked close to 3 miles to come to our house because they couldn’t get me on the phone… Yikes!
Walking out of the gate I immediately noticed Edeline on all fours pushing with the baby’s head out. I ran over and helped the first shoulder pass and their little boy came into the world! He was perfect…Crying with gentle stimulation and clearing his own airway. I wrapped him up and turned momma over the handed her the little guy so that her body warmth could sustain him until we could get them inside. I have personally decided to use advanced management of the 3rd stage, which means giving Pitocin 10 units IM (thanks Melissa and Beth!) to keep momma from hemorrhaging. Five minutes later the placenta delivered easily and completely intact. Everything went beautifully (well, besides the whole outside the gate thing in the dark).
I had some courageous helpers as well! Bonnie Kate, Josh, and Kyle all played a huge roll on getting supplies to me and providing a light source. Couldn’t have done it without any of them! They were so cool, calm and collected… I couldn’t have asked for a better team!
Momma and baby Djebi rested for the rest of the morning inside our house and went home around 10 am. No abnormal bleeding from Momma and Djebi latched on like a pro during his first feeding :)
We are so thankful that we have a healthy momma and baby… and I realize that it just as easily could have gone the other way. Thanks be to God for His abundant grace and mercy.
This was a HUGE learning experience for me! First of all, I knew that Creole was a simple language but the fact that they do not have a commonly used word for contraction and they use the phrase “vant fe mal” which means “my stomach hurts”. I mean seriously… how are we supposed to discern a simple stomachache from intense contractions that are moving a tiny human being down the birth canal??? You’re guess is as good as mine. It probably didn’t help that I just started following this momma 1 week ago and have limited knowledge on her understanding and ability to communicate effectively.
It has also become more and more evident that the people of Gressier really need somewhere where they feel they can go for medical treatment as well as childbirth services. Edeline’s husband mentioned they were going to try to go to MSF in Leogane… which is like 25 min away… on foot… if they could not reach us.
All of us on the Respire Haiti team are praying that God would continue to direct us as week seek to serve the people of Gressier through medical care. Now is the time that we are seeking direction on each and every little detail as we are able to start from scratch.
Please continue to pray with us as we are working very hard on getting supplies and equipment in for the medical clinic. I will be posting an amazon wish list soon with supplies that you can buy and donate to our medical clinic that will be shipped here this summer!
Phoebe got to meet Djibi this morning! She was enamored with him :)
Will post pictures of Mom, Dad, and baby Djibi soon!