Thursday, February 23, 2012

The cup that bubbles over...

As the title implies there are sooo many things to write about.  In your favor, they will just be little snippets here because these little things that were going to be posts in their own right have piled up quite a bit AND, well, time is short.

#1. Baby #18 TODAY!  I was third up of four of us on shift.  It was busy, but with just postpartum patients.  There was one labor out of the 6 or so patients on the board that were endorsed to us.  The midwife who was "first up" took her.  Then around 7:00am a labor came in, so the midwife who was "second up" took her.  All was going pretty smooth.  Both labors were fully and were pushing, but as you ladies that have had children or worked in a similar setting know, just because your pushing doesn't mean that baby will born right away.  So, we were just chillin'.  The patients in postpartum were being taken care of as needed and everything else was pretty calm.  Then, the first labor gave birth at 8:16am.  She did great.  the next birth I was assisting with gave birth at 8:37am and just as the placenta was out (i was still holding the bag with the placenta in it) there was a taxi that pulled up.

The supervisor goes running out the door yelling, "Kelly, Kelly, Kelly....hurry, come on, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly."  At this point i'm still holding the bag with the placenta in it trying to figure out where an acceptable place to put it is.  The midwife told me to just put it on the bed, which I quickly did.  I only had gloves on and wrongly thought that the super had already grabbed a tray (which were still on birth carts in the cubicles that had just had births.  Upon arriving at the taxi the scene was like this: The patient laying stretched out across the seat (thankfully this was a small SUVtaxi, so a little more space than a car) with a waded blanket between her legs.  Sorry, if this is a little graphic (cover your eyes and skip down...) I peaked under the blanket and saw 4-5 cm head visible!!  That's exciting.  She was pushing and yelling with every contraction and was not about to slow down.  We couldn't move her, so the baby was delivered in the car!  So fun.  Usually we let the cord stop pulsing, then clamp it, but in this situation the cord was clamped and the patient was transported in a wheel chair to the clinic and a bed.  Ah, what crazy times.  I didn't get any pictures, but hopefully they will return for baby checks and we'll snap a few there!!  Happy Birthday to Leana Gabrielle, 2900g (about 6lbs. 7oz.) at 8:50am.

Like most holidays here in the Philippines they do like to celebrate Valentine's day.  It is substantially less celebratory that most, but they do sell the appropriate candies and do some decorating in store fronts and restaurants.  For us, it wasn't too big of a holiday.  We had a seminar to go to and regular clinic work.  But, just today (Feb 23) the mail brought in some wonderful surprises.  Namely two that touched my heart.  One was a lovely pkg complete with choc, candies and a card from my dear brother and sister (in-law).  THANK YOU.  The other was a card from some ladies at church in the P4U group.  THANK YOU.  Reading each of your notes just touched my heart.  Today has been especially long and tiring, so thank you!!  Each of your notes made me smile. clever.

#3. Life is Messy!
One of the many topics that we run across in this field, as in many other fields, is the need for counciling.  Often, the women we minister to are single and pregnant.  Hmmmm.  Or, they are living with their boyfriend.  So, it is imperative that we learn to listen and offer a place of trust and hope.  Sometimes we may have opportunities where we are doing more formal counseling, but mostly it's just in the way we serve the women.  Often, these women are very open and very real.  The may openly confess to having a "job" of being a prostitute, or drinking, or smoking.  Some hide, but when you can be a safe place, they open up.  
So, what ran across my brain was the need for Christians, and often those working in foreign places, to be real too!  No one is super human.  Sometimes we put up facades of "Holiness" or "Purity" when in fact we are simply binding ourself to a made up standard that is damaging in the end because we miss out on God's graciousness to our humanity or finiteness.  He is gracious!  Just a challenge for my own life and for you.  Just because you may have a label of Christian doesn't mean you too can't be real about struggles or even feelings, like flash in the pan tempers.  Mhmmm.  My parents tried to instill in us the worth of validating people.  For instance, to stop, make eye contact, and say, "hello." is very validating to someone because they know that they are a person in your eyes.  Ahhh.  It challenge me to be real and know that life isn't always clean and neat, sometimes, the emotions or feelings we have may not feel holy, but they are part of life on this earth.  Sometimes, I just need someone to validate those and then we can move on.

#4. We have a great matter of security here.  There have been multiply shootings recently, so we are under "orders" not only by our staff, but also by the mayor (to all the Filipinos in the area) to be aware and be safe.  Usually we would walk to the places close by, but that is no longer an option!  The shootings have been of pedestrians (usually females) who are attacked by a motorcyclist.  Sometimes it was due to a struggle to give over posessions or money, other times it didn't seem to matter whether there was a struggle or not.  We are not living in fear, but it has changed our life a little.  Your prayers are appreciated.

Well, that's all for now!  May the Lord bless you and keep you and give you strength to carry on in His path!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Heart Warmers

Serving with us here in the Philippines are are a few families.  Even though my family has lived in many places and we've spent the last few years in different parts of the country or the world, we've continued to be blessed by a strong friendship and many available ways to communicate.  Even so, nothing quite beats getting to hand out with a family in their home when mine is miles away.

In fact, both of their blogs are listed in the side bar here.  One is from Canada and one is from Texas...each their own world!  And they are both loved here.  On various occasions they have had me and some of the girls over for food and games or just chit-chat!  It's always so wonderfully refreshing.  Yes, the food is good and the games are fun, but really it's being in the midst of a wonderfully inviting family who cares to offer encouraging fellowship and welcomes others into their home.

That's a little snippet of some of the refreshing things that do the heart good.  The LORD brought each of us here this year for a reason and purpose.  They were brought for our encouragement.

For those of you raising families, may you be encouraged to press on and do well.  Keep reaching out in whatever way the LORD has shown you.  Even if it's doing things like praying for people in the church, in your kid's school, or on the field (locally or internationally).  It might not seem like you are hosting them, but you are bringing them before the Father in His throne room each time.  You can let your heart run wild with whatever the LORD shows you.

Silvey family and Oishi family...YOU are such blessings.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mt. Apo

Trip: Mt. Apo
Hikers: Group 1> Ate Jhobee's Aunt (GMO workers, including a doctor); Group >2 Kelly, Eva, Hannah, Ruth, Annabelle, Ate Jhobee, and Kuya John
Duration: 3 days, two days up and one day down.
L to R: Hannah, Annabelle, Ruth, Eva, and Kelly

Finally, I have a few pictures to share with you from our trip.  Oh, it was sooo worth it.  Although it was hard (our complications included loosing soles on shoes...someone becoming hypothermic...loosing a camera that had to be retrieved, arriving after the last bus, which had left early) we were so refreshed from it and are the better for it now!

We had area of the trail that were 90 degrees (or straight up), but the park has built ladders...mostly helpful, but a little sketchy.  There were skinny trails with drop offs on the far side.  Mud pits that seemed to desire your shoes as there newest tenants.  Plants that had prickers, but are apparently a type of poison ivy, with a sting so severe it feels like hundreds of needles have been stuck into you. Our tent, wonderful though it was had a leak, so our last night each of us experienced having water drop, unexpectedly, on a sleeping head, which always responded in drowsy confusing.

Yet, we were blessed.  We had a wonderful time with each other, we had three days of quiet in the "jungle", we saw the locals who passed us by on the trails so fast it put us to shame that we were about 20 years younger than they were!  We drank fresh spring water (was it infected??  we don't know, but it tasted good...)  We had wonderfully simple meals of granola or rice and canned meat (corned beef anyone?  how about seasoned corned tuna?  Mmmm)  and we had an armory of drink mixes to replace electrolytes and bring a little variety to our meals.  

Oh, and the people who we were with.  So, it's a little confusing, but we were one group consisting of two teams.  The other team we spent a minimal amount of time with because they hiked faster.  We did all camp together, but due to no bon fires begin allowed in the park (on the mountain) we didn't spend too much time outside at night.  It would get cold, but it was nice and toasty in the tent!  One gal stood out in particular though.  She is from Switzerland and is wanting to do more GMO work as a doctor.  In order to that, she is traveling and volunteering in many capacities just here in the Philippines.  Even while we were on the trail one of the locals approached her and she supplied them with Paracetamol (Tylenol) and gave them some instructions for helping their son who had a fever.  Wow!  Reaching people isn't a complicated business.  

Bullet and Eva after retrieving Eva's camera.

Our guide.  Somehow through the course of hiking our guide became our right hand man.  Due to our slow pace he would often insist on carrying one of our bags!  And, when he wasn't doing that (well, even if he was) he would have some motivational chant. "Go-go-go get it!" or "Give me an A... and so forth"  Although his English was good it certainly wasn't perfect, so sometimes he couldn't think of a word, which would result in a long pause of silence, then laughter when it wasn't filled with a corresponding word.  He heard the Gospel on more than one occasion and although he wasn't willing to engage too much you could see the wheels in his head turning.  He works as a guide for Mt. Apo now, but that is only part time.  He hikes only about twice a month.  Otherwise, he has a variety of jobs that he has done and is definitely searching, although he says that he is half catholic and half muslim (family heritage).  If you'd like, you can pray for Bullet.  He was a great guide, but doesn't know Jesus as His Savior.

And, of course, no hike to the top of a mountain is complete without saying that the Scriptures just bubble over with comparisons that use mountains or how we have to persevere in this race (we were often racing a time deadline).  These mountains, although covered in green, not like the rock faces of the West Coast, do remind us that we are on a hard journey called life and we often don't have a perfect view, but we do have a goal.  And, there is nothing that quite compares to the view at the top.  

"For his anger lasts only a moment, 
   but his favor lasts a lifetime; 
weeping may stay for the night, 
   but rejoicing comes in the morning."
-Psalm 30:5

hiking down from the for some!

One of 5 bridges we crossed coming and going.

At our camp site with the peak in the background. Gorgeous

Almost canned...our lunch on the mountain.

Ruth, Eva and Hannah on the PEAK!

Just soaking up the view along the way.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A little "catch" up!

Catch #15:
Sheila Mae.  She was wonderful.  She came in around 7:00 am on a day shift with her sister as her bantay (watcher).  She did a wonderful job laboring.  She walked, she did squats, she did nipple stim, and she did "kiay-kiay" or hip swaying.  She had a couple different instances of leaking fluid, then one clear rupture with light meconuim staining. Within 10 minutes at 10:10am her beautiful baby girl was born.  Angel Mae born on 2/7/12 weighed 2900 g (i think...this is off the top of my head) and is precious.  Over all, it was an uneventful birth.  No tear, no hemorrhage, and no other peculiarities.  Oh, Angel did have a rather flat head at birth, but i just saw her today and it is much more rounded and normal in appearance.  Thank you Jesus!!

Catch #16:
Novie...dear Novie Grace.  She seemed pretty in control at first, but when her labor began to become more intense with contractions so did she!  Although her bana (husband - but they are live-in) was there and so was her mom she never liked being in the cubicle without a midwife.  Wow!  Talk about intense.  Like, you run out of the cubicle to grab the chart that is all of 5 steps aways and the result is a resounding wail the sounds throughout the birth room.  Poor mom's sitting there just waiting for there baby check-ups.

However, all that being said, she did so well when it came time to push.  Even in laboring, she did well, but it was rather intense.  She listened to instructions throughout her pushing stage and didn't even tear.  Not a bit!  Her precious little boy does have a caput (like a large bruise of pooled blood on the scalp) from a long pushing stage and he didn't want to breath upon birth!  So, we had to work with that.  We prayed over him and intrust him to Jesus' care.  If you think of him, pray for him.  He's doing pretty well now, although he's been difficult to nurse.  Some kids just are that way (do i hear agreement from some moms out there?!)  Here's a picture of the little guy:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Coming Soon


This past weekend we had a most amazing adventure.  Four of the girls and I were able to join a group going to Mt. Apo...the story will have to follow later.  :0 ) It was so wonderfully refreshing; such an adventure!!  Praise Jesus for His faithfulness.