Friday, January 6, 2012

Crying it out!

Athieng was hard to read.

Her contractions said one thing (i.e. “We’ve got a long way to go.”). But her response to those contractions said another (i.e “Quick, catch this baby. It’s coming out right now!”)

Which was it?

Originally I waited and watched trying to avoid a vaginal exam, but eventually I caved in after another half hour of confusion.

She was only 3 cm dilated.

Normally I would have insisted she go home, but she didn’t look like she was coping well.

Tears. Sobs. Whines. Whimpers.

This was not the typical Dinka labor. Usually the women I serve are restrained to the point of stoicism.

She was different; she actually looked and acted like she was in labor. It was refreshing.

I told her it would be many hours before she delivered and that it was best if she went home to labor. However if she’d be more comfortable at the clinic, of course she could stay.

Shaking off the pain, mustering a half-smile, then wiping streams of tears from her eyes, she finally said that she preferred to labor at home. So I prayed for her and sent her on her way.

I half expected her to stay home, but she surprised me by coming back 6 hours later. But this time she was active. But as the hours progressed, so did her tears. 

At the start of each contraction the flood waters would open, gush across her face, then drip off her chin. Yet the moment the contraction faded, she’d wipe her face, sniffle a bit, then go back to pacing the clinic grounds.

These were no ordinary tear drops; these were brewing geysers, raging tidal waves, gushing rivers.

In all my years, I’ve never seen a coping mechanism quite like this one. However, it makes the most sense. I mean... why not cry?

Before I go on, there is something you should know about me. I’m a cry-er. Some would even say a cry-baby.
            --Heaven knows I’ve been called worse.

So when I saw her crying, I instantly understood.

You see, I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I’m sad. I cry when I’m stressed, pissed, depressed, blessed. I just cry.

I loved that she did, too.

Long story short, her crying eventually came to an end. The contractions led to her water breaking, which led to frantic pushing, which led to more crying. But this time it was her son making the noise!
    --What a beautiful sound it was!

Personally, I think I’m going to be much like her in labor. I’m sure I’ll do my fair share of blubbering, sobbing, and crying. I mean, why not?

It just feels good to cry it out sometimes. Right?

Anyway. I’m happy to report that the word is out. Women are coming to deliver with us quite regularly. Last month we had 40 births. I wonder what this new year will bring.

Thank you for praying that they would trust us enough to come. Now please pray that those that come, would see Jesus in our actions and words. Thanks.