Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Last Day in the Philippines

****DISCLAIMER this is a little graphic... you've been warned****

I wanted to document one of my last memories in the Philippines before I forget it(even if it is 3 months later). Nolan taught me how to drive stick shift! I was expecting for some total upsets and embarrassing moments. To tell you the truth, Nolan is an AWESOME teacher. He made me look like I'd driven standard several times. I only stalled out one time on a massive speed bump. (They should call them speed hills... just saying)

That late afternoon Salem and I went to the midwifery clinic on her last shift before I left. Immediately when we got there Salem had a tiny Filipina woman that was in labor. Her husband was there the whole time, but when she was in her hardest parts of her labor she wanted him by her head, sometimes holding her hands. For the first time I got to actively assist (kind of) in the delivery. Salem asked her if she would do the supported squat, but she didn't want the husband to leave her front. Salem just nonchalantly told me to get up and support her instead of her husband.

After several hours of labor, she delivered a beautiful baby. We had to transport the baby to the hospital, and, yes, all of the same sensations of sadness overwhelmed me in the emergency room.

This is where it got interesting for me. When Salem and I returned to the midwifery clinic, I helped Salem's supervisor stitch the woman's tear back up where it ripped from childbirth. She had all of her supplies sterilized and a spot light set up. It was almost 10pm and the supervisor had already sanitized and injected the anesthesia. I was there to observe and hand her supplies when needed. Then the lights went out.

I forgot to mention that it was already in the high 80's and fans were the only way for us to cool down. When the power went out, we immediately began to feel the heat in the close quarters. The supervisor was ready to begin suturing. Instead of panicking, she just told me to go get the flashlight. She finished up the entire procedure flawlessly.

Sometimes I forget the luxury that we have in the U.S. In that situation, backup power would have been provided and it would have been in a completely different environment. I was blessed to see how strong the women giving birth were, but also how strong the midwives were through everything. Its ironic that I ended up getting pregnant right after I got back from the Philippines. I learned so much, and I know I'll keep in mind all 7 women that I got to witness give birth when it comes my time.

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