Wednesday, June 30, 2010

First Birth


Last Saturday, I was woken at 11pm for a birth. Maggie (the other Nurse-midwife) knocked loudly on my door and startled me awake. I got dressed quickly in the dark, searching clumsily for my flashlight.

When I arrived at the clinic, I met Awein and her husband. She was definitely in labor with contractions coming every 5 minutes or less. But when I did an IE she was only 5 cm along. Yet, this was her fourth baby and I knew she wouldn’t be long.

Maggie went back to bed with instructions to wake her when things were farther along. Awein told me she wanted to deliver on the floor, but it’s so dirty we settled on delivering on the bed in a squatting position. She was bright eyed and seemed at ease. When the contractions got stronger, she made faces instead of noise.

It wasn’t a half an hour later when she arched her back and started pushing. I tried to get her to stop thinking she wouldn’t be fully but… well… she wasn’t listening. And everything I said, had to go through Victor my translator (who I later learned had never seen a birth before!). She pushed strong and mighty and I realized we’d have a baby soon.

I sent Victor to get Maggie back at the compound and Awien kept pushing. A precious little boy was born a few short minutes later along with a wave of amniotic fluid and blood. I should have worn gum boots as each step made a splash. Such is birth when you have no linens.

They named him CHOK and he weighed a whopping 2500 grams.