Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Busy days!

July 26, 2017

We have been so busy. Then, at the end of the day, when I can finally sit at a computer, sometimes the internet is down. Like tonite. I’m writing this offline and hopefully can post it tomorrow.

Yesterday I went to the ti-clinic. That is the little clinic, meaning 15-20 women will show up as opposed to 60-80. It is 45 minutes on a motorcycle (three to a bike of course!), down the dusty, development road out of Hinche. The midwives come every week to this countryside outpost – a small shack with a dirt floor, a cot, a table and 2 chairs. Outside are wooden, school-room type benches that I assume makes this a small church or schoolhouse. We saw only 10 women, 1 newborn. The midwives talked to them about eating good food. Many of the women seen had had prior C-sections, with wide, vertical scars to their belly buttons. Hinche is just finding the resources to do C-sections now. VBAC is nowhere on their radar.
Upon arrival at the hospital today, all appeared quiet – one woman awaiting a repeat C – section. By 10am, 2 babies had been born – one by C-section, the other to a 3rd timer with high blood pressure. Four midwifery students in bright pink scrubs are working together and attending to the women. Tout bagay anfòm. All is in order. All is good.

There is a new set up in the hospital for the maternity ward. Four exam tables are lined up in a rectangular room, separated by shower curtains blowing in the breeze of the multiple floor fans. White tile and 3 big windows make the place feel clean. Minimal inspection is necessary to notice the blood on the floor, dripping from the end of the exam table where the woman is resting after having given birth. The eye catches the detritus on the moving shower curtains, an unidentified bodily fluid. All of this is an improvement from the last maternity ward, despite the fact that the midwives say that the whole place is too small. When four are delivering at once, I am sure this is the truth.
Despite making 95 baby packs with sanitary pads and “sexy coulottes” (white mesh panties), none of the women I have seen so far in labor and delivery have these supplies. Cloth rags are folded into rectangular wads and placed in a clean pair of underwear. The family brings in a clean pair of clothes for mom and baby less than an hour after birth so that they can both be moved to the postpartum ward. I feel desperate for the supplies, yet I know that there are just so many women coming in. So much to do. We will pass out some of the packs tomorrow at the large mobile clinic so that the women can bring them in when they are in labor.

Other happenings:

Viola and Eva have been going to the orphanages every day. They love the girls, the girls love them.

Dr. Laura has been training 4 midwives how to use a small, portable ultrasound. This is extremely valuable since the Haitian doctors here charge exorbitant amounts to do the exam. There are moments when the midwives need to diagnose a fetal demise, twins, or difficult fetal positions. This is a valuable addition to their skills and services. Until the ultrasound machine breaks down, of course.

Dina has been playing her ukelele, helping with our resident, 6-week old baby. The baby’s name is Mitsushi, but everyone calls her Sushi for short. Her mom is a student with Midwives for Haiti. She’s a single mom and brings the baby to the Midwife House every day before she heads to the hospital for a morning of training in prenatal care. We adore her.

Miss Genette’s brother, Angelo, opened up a fabulous hotel with 14 air-conditioned rooms. Whaaaat?? She invited us all for dinner at the hotel where we met some Canadian teachers. This is where y’all will stay when you come to Haiti with me next year! 

We gave blood today.

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