Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Cultural...

Some days are funny, some are sad, some just are, and some, well, some hold embarrassing moments that often afford a good laugh after the fact (occasionally in it).  Today was one such day of the later.  My friends and I headed out to a coffee shop around 10, since the mall doesn't open open until then.

We had been there about an hour and a half.  The inevitable happened.  Nature called, but because this coffee shop is in the mall there is no CRs (comfort room) in the coffee shop, thus requiring a trip out into the mall to track down one of the CR's there.  No big deal, that's pretty normal and this mall is really nice and new.

I left my friend in the coffee shop to dutifully keep watching over our computers and "valuables."  Upon entering the CR it dawned on me I wasn't carrying any toilet paper, which is always a responsible thing to do in a foreign country.  Then, it occurred to me that this is a well established place and they would probably supply some in the CR.  I passed 5 school girls who were taking up the entire counter and mirror and entered a stall.  Immediately, I realized there was no toilet paper there.  What a conundrum.  I headed back out, but my pride was far to big at this point to even consider the reality that they probably hadn't even noticed me in which case it would be possible to grab some toilet paper from the dispenser.  Instead, I washed my hands...right next to the toilet paper dispenser.

Yup, that's right.  If you are in a public restroom (CR) it's very likely there will be a central dispenser near the sinks, but nothing in the stalls.  Well, I left.  Embarrassed, I went down to tell my friend (both girls appreciate these thing having lived in foreign countries).  We laughed and told each other embarrassing stories.  In the end: by the time we made it back out, well, we had to go to three different CRs before finding one that was stocked.

Just a cultural moment that one must laugh at.  Why was my pride so injured?  Because it's pride and that's what it does.  Now it's a good laugh and a lesson learned. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First Catch baby!

Marcie, Christian and Me on day one!
Baby Christian Jade, 2900g, 11/15/11
Isn't he precious? I just took his footprints.
Last night was a night shift.  For anyone who knows me you know that it's not my favorite pastime to stay up all night and sleep during the day.  My biological clock is set on morning time to be awake during the day!

As any medical professional knows nights are part of the life.  "Emergency" type of medical care doesn't have hours, it's 24/7.  This was so secret when I started here, but it doesn't mean that I have to look forward to it.  Some of the midwives here really do love the night. That is when they are really awake.  Usually the way our schedule works out people usually have at least one night shift a week, but they can be switched out on occasion too.

Last night was one of those.  It's been a desire of my heart to not complain or dread the night shift.  It's not even the night that is so bad, it's sleeping the next day and getting flip-flopped in schedule.  It's just a challenge.  But, such is life, so my attitude needs to change!

My heart has been least it's been given a boost.  You see, last night was my first catch!  In a previous post the positions in a birth here were explained.  There are at least three people aside from the mother and a bantay (watcher/friend) of her choice.  The assistant, they will be the working hands to get towels, heart tones, IVs, etc.  The Charter, they will chart all the details with the time in a birth, and finally the Catcher.  This is she who will catch the baby, and eventually the placenta!  (TMI??  Oh, there's more that could be said, but that will be left out.)

My patient had been laboring since 5:20pm at the clinic.  After assisting with one birth it was my turn to be first up!  I had a pounding headache and really just wanted to sleep, but with four labors (until the one I assisted with) sleep was no where in sight!  And it all happened so fast.  Another gal and I checked a postpartum patient and upon entering the birth room again about 10 minutes later (it was about 1:15am) i heard almost unearthly tones, those tell-tale sounds of a women in labor who is on the brink of meeting her baby for the first time to be held in her arms.

With that, the supervisor on shift called my into the cubicle, motioning my to sit on the bed, the "catcher's spot."  Wow.  It was rather surreal.  After only 14 minutes the baby was born at 1:34am.  A precious baby boy.  Everything seemed such a blur, but oh so precious.  The change from a laboring women who is focused on the rolling contractions that keep her riveted to the feelings of her body, then to a loving, beautiful, glowing mother never cease to amaze me.  This mother was no different.  She just glowed.  She had handled the pain and made it through, all to be rewarded with a precious little 2900g. baby boy.  

That's the story!  She just came this afternoon for her one day postnatal  check-up.  She was glowing and so proud.  And, she had finally chosen a name for the baby, Christian Jade.  What a blessing this little baby is.  We will continue to keep in touch over the next few weeks for her other postnatal checkups.

This time, I'm so grateful for night shift.  The precious little life and the sweet mother.  She absolutely melts my heart every time I see her.  here are some pictures to gander at.