Saturday, October 27, 2007

EASY ... AS... ONE... TWO... THREE...

Birth story to remember.... don't let them tell you that it's always hard work!

A night or so back, i was working the night shift. That shift starts at 10pm and finishes at 6am. There was NO ONE in the clinic. No labors. No postpartum mama's with their precious babes. No one but three tired midwives (and one want-to-be midwife in training... aka: Me :-)

I am now assisting, so I was a bit disappointed that it was a 'dead shift'. But i was glad for the sleep we were all going to get. We turned out the lights... or achumm... shall we say..... "started conserving energy" and turned in to get some sleep.

At 3:30 am a 'Buntis' walks in. She is a sweet younger mother and this is to be her second child. She also happens to be the patient of one of the midwives on shift. As we are checking her in we ask her what time the contractions started. She said 2 o'clock. We ask her... 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon? She says 'no, 2 o'clock this morning!'

By this time, she is holding her belly and acting like the contractions really hurt. But labor just started an hour and a half ago! How far along could she really be? :-)
On top of that she is not responding well to our questions. We have to ask them over and over again to get a response. I'm confused but hey... who am I to say it doesn't hurt?

So we get her washed up, checked in and on a bed Either she is in transition or she is not handling labor well. I figured it had to be the later. Come on! she has only been in labor an hour and a half!

So the midwife on duty did an internal exam and wouldn't you know it she was FULLY DILATED! We quickly got her husband washed and in the room and she started pushing! Shortly after, her waters broke and 6 minutes later her baby was singing 'Hello'! :-)

The baby was born at 4:25 am. So all in all, she had that baby in 2 hrs and 25 minutes!
There is hope for me after all!!!! :-)
Plus I learned a valuable lesson... transition can happen faster than you may think! :-) And labors aren't always long and drawn out!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Outland Adventure

This picture dates back a few weeks when a group of this year's students and a few of last year's got to spend the day doing team building activities! We tied ourselves in knots and tried to untangle. We balanced on logs, fell back into the arms of our team mates, tight rope walked and climbed vertical jungle gyms... not to mention we took a LONG ride on a zip line!

But that wasn't all.... we climbed logs and scaled walls! (I even had to do this last one blind folded. :-) By the end of the day... I was exhausted but exhilarated! (okay... mainly exhausted!)

It was a great time watching everyone's reactions to all the heights and falling! It was very interesting seeing how I responded to the stress and being part of a team!

It was very revealing! What I determined is that.... a midwife needs to have a strong leadership personality! And for the most part! All of us have these characteristics in abundance! :- )

Newsletter October 2007

Dear Prayer Warriors! 
These last few weeks have been a roll coaster ride of adjustments and new learning experiences! 

Our clinic was up for recertification by the Department of Health. After much scrutiny and a lot of compliance, we passed our review and are better than ever!
But there is another obstacle that needs to be considered. The reviewer wants us to try and become a school certified by the Board of Education in the Philippines. But we don't fit that mold. Please pray that we are able to explain this to the local officials and that we wouldn't be delayed by this.

Feed the Poor
Recently we decided to love on the locals more! And serve the poor by giving them food as well as free health care! We pooled our resources and raised over $800 dollars. We bought food, bagged it and handed it out to every woman who came in for a prenatal check up! We have money left over, so we’ll be doing it again in a few weeks!

Boating…. Burning…. and Bobbing…
The other day… a group of us rented a boat and spent the day relaxing on the beach, snorkeling and just getting to know one another better! It was a blast! I was the only one not to get sunburned! Thanks to all that Mexican blood running through my veins! Thanks Mom! :- ) Okay… the four layers of sun block must have helped too!!!
But while I was there I learned some interesting things about the locals! Filipinos hide from the sun. While on the beach, I noticed NO ONE was laying out. I was the only ‘crazy coconut’ soaking up the sun!
One of my directors turned to me and said, “You know, Steph, it’s actually ‘cool’ to be white here!” And of course, she’s right!
Tanning salons don’t exist here! The whiter you are the better! At the store there are huge sections of the beauty isle dedicated to whitening soap, whitening lotion, whitening creams and whitening powders. It’s like bleach for your skin. I watch women walking down the street on a bright sunny day carrying an umbrella. If not, they have a bag on top of their head or are hiding in some way, shape or form. I personally love their brownness... but maybe i'll be hiding from the sun in a little while too!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The all Hallowed Halo-Halo!!!

Check out this Filipino version of the banana Split! No there are not any bananas... and yet... you don't miss them!

Imagine shaved ice smothered in condensed milk, then garnished with EVERYTHING YOU CAN FIND IN THE FRIDGE!!! I'm going to call it fridge split! Okay... what all do you find in the fridge here in the Philippines. There is ice cream, sherbert, fava beans (that have been candied! Yes, you read that right!), flan, puffed rice, uncooked oats, Jello, and purple taro root (aka: ube), topped with chocolate sauce and a maraschino cherry! Yumm! .... This is Halo-Halo!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Baby number Four... i finally thought to bring my camera!

Meet little Mel Jones-Rin born Sept 17 2007. This happy little boy came into the world in silence. His mom didn't cry out in pain... and he was practically silent as well! This birth was straight forward and uncomplicated! It was a joy to watch... He was so small though. Most of the babies are born small here. I guess it's normal when their moms are all of 4 feet tall! but it's also their diet. Some just don't have the means to eat for two!

Studying.....transporting....and erasing...

Hello one and all!
Life here has been very busy because I've been cramming for my assignment! I wrote a freakin' book! 60 pages long... not including the craft project and vocab cards... Some days, i study (if you can call blankly staring cross-eyed at a wall... studying) for hours ad infinitum. I figure i study at least 40 hours a week and then i work on top of that two to three birthroom shifts and one prenatal shift a week. :-) that is about another 21- 35 hours a week! :-) Did i say i was crazy busy or what!!! :-) But i just want you to know! i love it!!! :-) i love every minute of it.... well not EVERY minute... some of the studying is HARD WORK!! if i didn't know any better I'd say my brain ignites from time to time! and not in the good sense... we're talking grinding gears and whizzing cogs... and a smell that reminds me of fried electrical panels.... you know... the kind that makes you wonder if your blender needs to be replaced!
OK. I've informed you. it's been busy. But i finished my assignment. I have a day or so respite before i have my exam (which is on Friday! please pray!) and I'm feeling good. I'm actually able to update my blog and smile! all at the same time! Way cool!!!

Now for confession time! I've been having a really difficult time since getting here with one particular issue and I've only recently made a break through! I have struggled with the transportation here! I'm frankly overwhelmed! There are SO MANY different ways to get around... and NO house numbers and BARELY ANY street signs... and nobody gives you CLEAR directions... and the ONLY map i can find doesn't even have all the road names on it.... it's just a bunch of squiggly lines with random dots telling me where to shop!!!! AAhhhh! i like shopping and all... but we're talking NOT CLEAR!! Alright... I've vented. I'm happy to report that i have FORCED myself out of the house! (I've even borne the shame of going ALONE) and I've mastered three quarters of the transportation nightmare! I will prevail!!! Ha!
there is hope! i DO see the light at the end of this transportation tunnel! yippy!
There will be NO stopping me now!!! He he he ;-)
I would be adding more pictures right now... but guess who erases 75 plus pictures off her computer today! Yep! you guessed it!!! your one and only goof-for-a-brain-impossible-to-figure-out-electronics Stephanie!!!! Pray that I'll be able to restore them somehow! for the moment they are completely lost in my computer hard drive! I can hear them calling to me... let me out... free me... and i'm deeply troubled! But what can be done? What... ?

ok... you can tell i need some sleep... must be off.... much more to follow!

This little fellow is one of the babies delivered at Mercy Maternity Clinic! He's what makes this all worth while! :-) Fortunately i didn't erase his precious face! :-) maybe i'll find his friends!