Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Surprise, Surprise!

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! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Picture Post

I know everyone says they enjoy the pictures, so... Here are some of my favorites from this past week :)

Phoebe Kate :) This is an inside joke... but maybe one day it won't be anymore! 

Beach babe

I got burned at the beach. Phoebe did not :)

Josh and his 4 favorite little girls! They absolutely LOVE him! 

Phoebe and Esther exploring the sands of the beach. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New Friends in Gressier

Just a few pictures I wanted to share of our new friends in Gressier :)

This is Bonnie Kate. Bonnie Kate just graduated from high school and is spending her summer in Gressier, Haiti. She is such a gentle, beautiful woman. I have loved getting to know her already! As you can see, Phoebe, already loves her!

Megan Boudreaux, Director of Respire Haiti, with Jezlo. Jezlo is a little boy whose mother brought him to our house before I arrived. They described him as lethargic, unable to walk, and unable to keep his eyes open. Respire Haiti staff rushed him to the hospital where he was treated for parasites and severe anemia. This is him one week later... He is walking again and is gaining life back into his little body. Megan has hired his mother to work with us at the house. The report from yesterday was that she is a really good worker. We are happy to have Jezlo and his mother joining our "family".

Isn't she just beautiful?

My sassy little girl :) I told her I was taking a picture and her immediate pose was head cocked to the side with her hand on her hip! I love that she has so much personality!

Jezlo has brought out a different side of Phoebe. With him she has been so patient, kind, loving and gentle. I love watching her show compassion, it takes my breath away!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Meet Phoebe :)

My sincerest apologies to you guys who are using the blog as a main way to keep up with me in Gressier… I have totally been a slacker. Well, that and I could not share up until recently what I have been doing with the majority of my time since I arrived in Haiti. I am so thankful for the sequence of events that has occurred and I am happy to share what these last few months/weeks have held for me. I will start from the beginning.

On February 24, my favorite little person in the world, was released from the orphanage. Most of you have heard me talk about Phoebe (formally known as Sandra). Phoebe came to me as a 4 week old in Passe Catabois after her mother died from child birth related causes. I have maintained as much of a relationship with her as I could over the last 2.5 years while she has been in an orphanage but I sincerely felt called by God to fight for this little one. After a long battle, she was released! I flew down to Haiti unexpectedly on February 25 to pick her up in Port-au-Prince and bring her to our new home in Gressier. It was in Gressier that I had to leave her until I could come back full time (which I was planning to do anyways).

When I arrived back in Haiti on March 29 I was reunited with Phoebe. She has been joyful and walking on clouds ever since I returned. Everyone says she is so much happier now that I am here with her. I think she, too, has a deep sense of knowing that we belong together. 

I am also SO HAPPY to announce that I am now her LEGAL GUARDIAN. Which means what we are doing is validated by paper work and is totally legal. Praise Jesus! It is only by the grace of God that we have all of this paperwork. God has orchestrated this in ways that only He could take the credit for… He has brought my daughter to me by the strangest of circumstances but I could not be more affirmed that I am walking down the path that Jesus has set for me. I am just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and see where we end up :)

God has used a very good friend of mine, Chrisnet Fertilus, to help me with Phoebe. He was the one who brought her all the way from the Northwest and met me in PaP. He stayed with me for days as we got her settled in Gressier. When I came back to Haiti in March, Chrisnet brought Phoebe’s father to PaP so that we could complete her paperwork. I give ALL of the glory to God for this victory but I also think of Chrisnet as a very crucial piece of this journey. God used him to accomplish His purposes! Chrisnet was Jesus in the flesh with me as I walked this road… and I could not have been more thankful for him!

So… all of that being said… I am now a mother of a 2.5 year old precious little girl. Phoebe has consumed most of my time since arriving in Gressier. I have enjoyed bathing her, reading to her, eating with her, sleeping with her, playing with her… I have just enjoyed getting to know her more and more. Now.. don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been all a bed of roses. She is 2.5. We have our moments… and she HATES the word NO :) But we are learning together and I am asking for guidance every day from the Most High God how I can best parent and love this child.

In the mean time we have been getting settled and I have been trying to make a life here. Things like getting a bank account, getting a phone and internet service are all time consuming tasks here in Haiti. Megan and I went to see the house where we will be living and sooner than later will run a medical clinic/birth center from there too. It still has some more work to be done before we can move it but it was fun to walk through and envision how we could use the space to walk out what the Lord has placed on our hearts.

Rays of Hope has offered us medical equipment, furniture, and supplies and will be sending some of our first supplies down on the container to be shipped on April 16. So that’s exciting! Thank you all who have donated online or given donations to me… I will be using that money to get the supplies here!

I have also made contact with a guy named Phil Harris. He works with an organization here in Haiti who is passionate about the medical community here. He invited me to go to a meeting today at 11 am with the Mayor of Carrefour and some important medical personnel. We met with the mayor and a few other important directors and they have approved for us to have a medical conference in March of 2013 where we will bring MD’s, nurses, midwives, and any other medical personnel and educate them on topics they feel they need further education.  I will be working with Phil and the leaders of Carrefour to make this happen. An exciting step in a good direction!

He also invited me to meet another woman who is in this area working in a clinic. Megan and I will meet with her on Friday. So.. lots of meetings and contacts to be made over the next few days.

Please keep Phoebe and I in your prayers as we continue to make our lives here in Gressier and as we grow as mother and daughter. I intend to devote the next few weeks to her and our relationship before we do anything major with the clinic. During this time I will continue to coordinate supplies, volunteers, and the start of this crazy vision that the Lord has placed on my heart for a birth center and medical clinic in Gressier.  

Thank you all for your love, support, and encouragement. Stay tuned… the blogs will be much more frequent!