Archive for May, 2012

good friends and good food.

makes life extremely enjoyable.


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i am sitting here in my house and wondering how in the world is it already friday.  where did this week go??  i will try to share some of the highlights and actually remember even in my head what in the world happened this last week!

sunday – turned out to be a pretty chill day for me.  i had decided to stay home from church just in case a mom who had some early-ish labor symptoms over night decided to go into labor.  she didn’t go into labor.  so instead i got to have a great chat with my mom for mother’s day.  we hadn’t really talked much recently with me being in haiti.  when i hung up the phone, i noticed we chatted for 86.22 minutes.  whoah!  we had a lot to catch up on.  i am extremely blessed to have a mother that loves me and my siblings so selflessly.

(this is my mom and i at the plaza lighting this last year.)

monday – still trying to remember what happened that day.  i think i caught up on e-mails or something like that?

tuesday – i got to spend most of the day with a very special friend of mine.  maureen and i worked together at northwest for more than 10 years and she is one of the most special people in my life.

tuesday i also got to see and hear that another little girl i delivered was named melissa.  she is a cutie.  i am glad that my dad picked out such a good name for me and that people like to name their little ones the same name.

wednesday – i took a trip to leogane.  i am hoping to work with an organization called Midwives for Haiti helping set up a training program for nurses to become advanced birth attendants.  here is their website if you want to check them out.  i will write more about that project and trip soon – http://www.midwivesforhaiti.org/

lets just say it was a long trip through traffic and it ended with me just walking a few blocks through nasty street water because there was another vehicle stuck in front of us and i couldn’t handle being in traffic and road blocks any longer.

thursday – always fun to have prenatal program.  i really enjoy getting to do prenatal consults and wondering about what these women will be like in labor and as moms.  it is fun to hope for the very best for them.

thursday night i made dinner and shared it with some great friends.  then off we went to a worship night at another couples house.  we made a few wrong turns and although i had been there before i am so directionally challenged and haiti streets and landscape all look exactly the same to me.  we did find where we were going and arrived a bit more than fashionably late.

friday – fridays are usually family planning day and i work for a little bit of time with the ladies who make jewelry.  but this friday was an exception.  it is flag day in haiti, so it is a holiday and therefore, no beading ladies.  also we are having a small crisis with our family planning program in that we can’t find depo-provera to purchase from any of our normal sources.  so. . . instead today we did new OB exams.  we took a group of new women into the program last week and this week got to know a bit more information about them, physicals, lab tests, medical and social histories.  so many different stories and so many different lives.

last week when we took in new women, it really seemed as though we were giving them $2000 gift cards or something.  they were all so excited and what a blessing to know that they are that happy to have a great place to come learn, grow and have a healthy baby.

tonight, the plan is to make taco’s for dinner with friends.  this week has been a bit of a blur and hopefully this weekend will bring a bit of rest and relaxation!

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october 15, 2011 i had a good friend come visit me here in port-au-prince.  nirva and i have been friends for over 10 years.  she is a nurse at northwest haiti christian mission and we worked closely together and developed a friendship.

(nirva is the one holding the baby in this picture)

nirva was here in port-au-prince visiting her daughter in university and came to visit me, for what i thought was really just a leisurely afternoon visit.  little did i know her plan. . . her brother dropped her off and i was too excited about seeing her to really pay any attention to him.  after he left, she began to tell me about him, and that she really wanted us to get together!!


crazy, idea.

i told her as much.

she insisted that we should talk and that we would like each other.

so, when he came back to pick her up, she mentioned in front of both of us that we should get together.  i wasn’t exactly sure what to say to such an idea, especially with the guy standing right in front of me, so i was quiet and he responded, “sister, you can’t say those type of things, we don’t even know if we would like each other.  we are from different cultures, countries, we don’t even know if we would be friends.”  he did ask for my number though and a couple days later he called.  we have talked every single day since then.

at first when nirva mentioned the idea of us getting together, i wasn’t sure about a relationship, but i was really interested in talking with her brother and getting to know him more, because he is an OBGYN at one of our referral hospitals here in port-au-prince.  at the time i thought he would be super helpful as a contact here in a new city, considering he is a doctor in my specific field.  so with that in my mind, we started talking. . .

then spending time together. . .

then really caring about each other. . .

this is jonas guepson, who is now a very special part of my life.

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there are a few obstetrical emergencies that really get my heart rate going.

a shoulder dystocia (when the shoulder gets stuck in the pelvis after the delivery of the head)

a placental abruption (when the placenta tears away from the wall of the uterus – mom and baby can both bleed to death!)

how about both of those complications in the same night?  talk about some adrenaline.  i know that i am a bit of an adrenaline junky, but i think i got a good enough fix last night that it will last for a while.

patricia came around midnight last night with her water broke and about 4 cm dilated.  she is shorter than me and just a really petite girl with what appeared to not be such a petite baby.

while she labored another mom showed up.  yolene’s husband had called and told me she was hurting earlier and i told him of course to come it.  they showed up at the gate and he said, “she is bleeding so much.”  which she absolutely was.  blood was trickling down her legs and he had a towel full of blood.  she was contracting extremely hard.  we walked QUICKLY into the exam room.  i checked her, only to find a handful of blood clots.  (which is never a good sign)  her pain was way more than it should have been for her 3rd child.  she was abrupting.  the saving grace was that her baby was almost there.  she pushed and delivered a beautiful baby girl.  then she bled and bled and bled.  sorry for those who have weak stomachs!  we did intervention after intervention.  at one point tara said, “i can call someone to go get the ambulance!”  her bleeding was actually slowing down and getting under control, so i was grateful!  she is doing great tonight with her little baby girl!

all the while yolene was delivering i could hear patricia laboring also.  her labor sounds began to change and get more serious.  we checked and most of her cervix was gone, but that baby felt so high still.  so she walked, and squatted and used the birth sling and pushed and walked and repeated all those things.  her baby made some progress.  she went to sit on the edge of the bed to deliver.  her babies head came little by little by little.  (never a good sign!)  then finally the head delivered and it was almost as if it was sucked back in, or the baby didn’t have a neck.  no it was that there was no way the shoulder was coming.  patricia’s sister began to pray out loud as i struggled with getting the baby out.  about 30-45 seconds later (which felt more like 5 minutes!! i worked the shoulder loose and a wide eyed 8 pound boy entered the world.

needless to say.  i have had my adrenaline fix for a while!

here is a post with some pictures of these great moms.  thanks for your prayers.  they make all the difference.


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this last thursday i taught about labor and what women can do in the face of labor.  that they can choose fear and to fight the pain, or they can realize that the pain is bringing them closer to seeing their baby!  we talked through what to and not to do in the various stages of labor.

i guess a couple of them took that class seriously and applied it.  we have had two babies since then.  one born around midnight friday night and then another little boy born today around four this afternoon.

both of these women were older moms.  one with three children already, and for yanigue today, this was her first baby at 37 years old.

her aunts were here with her every step of the way.  (the above picture is one of her aunts with the baby!)  one of her aunts was here early this morning when she first came.  it was around 2 in the morning and her husband, aunt and another family friend who drove them here all showed up.  yanigue was right, her water had broken, but she wasn’t really in labor yet.  so on and off she walked, laid down, walked, sat, squatted.  her aunt encouraged her along the way.  this morning i had her try to get some sleep and actually had to come back in the room because the two of them were chatting up a storm.  i was concerned about yanique’s blood pressure being too high and didn’t need the family gossip to get in the way of some rest.  auntie understood and i think we all got a few minutes of sleep.

as the morning progressed, yanique’s labor did not.  she had some other serious stuff going on and this baby needed to get delivered, so  we started some pitocin and got things going, then turned it off when her baby started having some decels.  yanique kept contracting away on her own.  every time she was have a contractions or need something, her two aunts were there, contorting their own bodies around to rub her back, encouraging her, telling her what was going on.  family doesn’t usually stay in the delivery room, but in this case it was the two aunts and two cousins and i don’t think we could have handled such a challenging delivery without them.  their tender loving care for their niece warmed my heart.

this little guy entered the world with a pretty sore head and didn’t want to breath at first, but caught on pretty well!!  for which i was extremely thankful to Jesus for.

yanigue’s husband brought us a whole bag of different juices and drinks and her family was so extremely grateful.  yanigue kept saying thank you to me because she knew i had been up with her since 2 in the morning.  the tenderness and love they have is not something you always see, here or really anywhere.  it touched my heart and i am going to bed extremely grateful for a good outcome for mom and baby and was proud to be part of such an awesome team of people to help bring a new life into this world.

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