Monday, December 31, 2007


It's a bit warm in here..... but yes, I'm wearing a scarf!! I got it for Christmas! I mentioned a few weeks back that it didn't feel like Christmas if i didn't have to wear a scarf.... and lo and behold! I got one in the mail!!!! Thank you all for making my Christmas fun and warmer! I love the scarf and the Christmas cards that were sent! But most of all i love you all! Your prayers and encouragements are priceless!

May this new year be full to overflowing with the many blessings He alone can bring!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Baby #8 Baby Irene

This little girl was born at home before her mother could even make it to the clinic. Her grandmother came to the clinic at 1:30 am asking us to come home with her because Irene's mom had had her baby and the placenta was still inside... she wanted us to go with her to cut the cord and deliver the placenta.

My supervisor told her that we couldn't leave the clinic and she needed to bring her daughter to us. She blinked a few times as if confused then went home to get her daughter and granddaughter. All three arrived along with the father about an hour later. I was next up so i went to cut the cord in the taxi.

Irene's mother, Jessica was lying in the back of the taxi and little Irene was wrapped on her lap. After cutting the cord and wrapping her up, i gave her to her father and we got Jessica in the wheelchair and pushed her into the birth room. She lied down on the bed and we unwrapped her. She had about 5 blankets around her. In one of them we found the placenta that had come out on its own. We examined it and took Jessica's vitals. Everyone was healthy and strong. Irene was cold but that wasn't too bad. Jessica got up almost immediately to shower and moved to the postpartum room. It was the fastest 'birth' I've ever attended. All I had to do was take some vitals and cut a cord! :- )

Cocka-doodle-do NOT!

 This guy is deceptively disruptive for such a small animal! He is just one of about a half a dozen 'fowl' that foul up our street. It's not so much the smell as the NOISE!

This little guy is clean and obviously well loved. He is tied to a post like a dog and even has a mini 'Rooster hut' where he gets out of the afternoon heat. But man alive, He's loud!!!
Rooster's compete in Cock Fights in the Philippines like in many other countries around the world. It is a national past time and a major draw during holidays. Mainly, the men dominate this arena but sometimes you'll find women court side too. Mainly, it's a chance to wager on which bird is gonna win! It's quite the 'to do' even though it is highly controversial. All I can say is Tug-tu-gau-og! (Vasayan for Cocka-doodle-do!)

Baby # 7 Little Ayanna

This lovely mother, Joan, came in at 6:30 am after I had just gotten on shift. She was pretty active so we didn't do an internal exam knowing that she was close. I just watched her labor. Around 8:30 am she felt the need to push and pushed for about 30 minutes with little progress.

I did an IE to see what was going on, and she had an anterior cervical lip. I had her labor on her hands and knees for a few contractions and another 30 min later beautiful Ayanna was born at 9:28 am.

It was so fun watching Joan's mother support and encourage her through the whole process.

Magson Menace!

This is Magson. It is an herbal oil that women put on their bellies here. I'm not entirely sure why they think it's necessary but it is very common. It's a major problem.

It causes a woman to have contractions and often to go into pre-term labor.
One young lady went into false labor at 34 weeks and found herself admitted into the emergency room.
During prenatals this morning 5 out of the 8 women I talked to have been using Magson regularly!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My first Continuity! ~ baby #6

Meet little Curt Wynn born December 14th at 12:04 pm, weighing 3740 grams!
Look at those cute chubby cheeks!!!

His mom, Menchie, is my first continuity. A continuity is a woman who I follow along with from prenatals and am on call for their birth when they go into labor. So when I got call from her two weeks before her due date I wasn't too surprised. This is her fourth baby and mothers who have had babies before tend to deliver a few weeks early. She had lost her last baby at 5 months for unknown reasons. That is why I took her as a continuity.

She texted me at 6 am that morning asking if it was okay not to come to her prenatal appointment because she had labor pains and was going to wait until her water broke before she came in. She didn't want to have to come in twice. Knowing that this was her fourth baby, I didn't want her to wait too long. I texted her back asking 'how far apart are your contractions?' She answered me by saying 'I live on such a such street in ABC district!'

Obviously we had a failure to communicate. I gave her my home phone number and asked her to call me. I asked her how strong the 'pain' was, and whether it was high or low on her belly. She tried to answer me but was having a hard time talking through the contraction. It was that strong! I told her not to wait and to come in as soon as she could. She made it to the clinic about an hour later and when i did and IE on her, she was already 8 cm! She labored well and a few hours later gave birth to a chubby cheeks little boy! But her water didn't break until the head came out! So had she waited, she would of had her baby at home! :- )

Oh the things you will eat.......

Century Eggs!

They're not for everyone but they sure are tasty! This is part of the Chinese influence in this country. I'm told by one of the Filipino midwives that it is made by boiling the eggs then burying them underground for several months in mud! That is what causes them to turn black!

Here is Jordan, one of my classmates, tasting a century egg for the first time! She thought it would be bad... but they taste like regular boiled eggs but the texture is a bit different! :- )

Little Loren - Baby # 5

Everyone meet beautiful baby girl Loren and her mother Karen!

Karen was already at the clinic when I came on shift. She was about 6 cm but was not in any pain at all! She was nick named 'Smiley' by everyone on shift because for someone in 'active' labor she sure was in a good mood!

We waited six hours and redid an internal exam to see if there was any progress and she was at 7 cm! This was unusual as this was her 3rd baby. The baby's head was well engaged so my supervisor did an amniotomy (which is an artificial rupture of membranes) to speed up her labor a bit. Immediately afterwards her contractions picked up and she lost her smile! There were other babies being born, so I stepped away for a while and when I returned about 20 minutes later she looked very active and ready to push. I set up her room and a few minutes later... Little Loren came into the world! She labored only 35 minutes after the amniotomy!

Buntis Belly!

Do you ever wonder what you'll look like pregnant? Some of you already know.... but I didn't until the day I became 'buntis' (pregnant in Vasayan). Don't worry... I'm not trying to tell you all something. I'm really not pregnant... :- ) My classmate did a plaster of one of her patient's belly and when it was all said and done we took turns wearing it! This is what I look like at 81/2 months! Being surrounded my babies does terrible things to ones biological clock! I've even started smelling every baby I hold! What was I thinking coming over here! :- ) I'm ruined for life! It must be all the estrogen in the air!

Jeulia Baby # 4

Everybody meet Little Jeulia! Her mother came in very active. She went to the bathroom to wash up and barely made it to the bed when she said she needed to push. I looked and sure enough her baby was on its way! I hadn't even put my gloves on, I didn't have a protective pad under her and I hadn't even see her prenatal chart when she started pushing!

I called my supervisor and got my assistants in the room and we had just enough time to get her situated when out came her little girl!

The funniest part was I had to ask her name during her first push. It sounded something like... "hi! my name is Stephanie! What's your name? Marianne? Great to meet you... you're having your baby! So when I tell you... push very slowly and breath!" She arrived at our clinic at 1:20 pm and had her baby at 1:28 pm.

After the dust settled I asked the mother what time her labor began. She said 1:00 o'clock. I asked, "1 o'clock in the morning?" "No, 1 pm!", she said. She had apparently been out shopping with her husband when the contractions started with gusto. They rushed to the clinic and she had her baby 28 minutes later! They didn't even have their baby clothes or birth bag with them! It's amazing they even made it to the clinic in time!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Livingstone Orphanage

A few weeks back I went to an orphanage here in Davao. While I was there I met some adorable little ones! There are about a dozen children aged from newborn to about 8 years old. They are playful, loving and absolutely precious!

We were there visiting baby Joshua, one of the students babies that was given up for adoption. Joshua's story is a little unique. His mom went into labor prematurely and was rushed to the clinic by her boss. She gave birth in the back of his fancy SUV to a small but otherwise healthy little boy. Had she not given birth in the SUV we would have been forced to transport her to the hospital. But God worked everything out for the best and she and little Joshua stayed at our clinic. The next day he was taken to Livingstone Orphanage!

As we stayed and played with the children, we were overwhelmed with hugs and cuddles. We were tugged on, prodded and crawled on ... I had a blast! I think I took about 100 pictures. Here are some of the best ones.


Merry Christmas!!!
I'm in the final throes of Christmas Dinner Coma! I'm not sure I'll make it... I'm going under.... I cannot stay awake!
But I have to wish you all a wonderful and happy Christmas... and Jesus a wonderful Birthday!

Please forgive the cheesy reindeer hat but I couldn't resist!
My prayer for you all is that this season would be full of amazing memories of God's blessings all throughout the year!
Your prayers are my biggest blessing Thank you so very much God bless!  ~Stephanie