Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Burgers, more babies and rolling with the punches!

So this week at the hospital was much of the same. Monday I was in antenatal watching the doctor give check ups to the mommas and in the afternoon we were in Admissions. Admissions is the interesting place to work in the hospital.. (not that working at MGMH in itself is not an altogether interesting experience mind you. As we walked into the room that we normally change into our uniforms a cat from outside bolted through the open window scaring us half to death!) Everyone who spends a significant amount of time in the hospital has to go through Admissions. You see everything from women in the beginning stages of labor to eclamptic women who are having seizures. The post grads (residents) in Admissions have been great to us so far, allowing us to follow them and check the patients and then compare notes as to our findings. It's a great way to learn!
Tuesday I was in the Labor ward and spent the day with a sweet laboring momma who ended up at the end of the day going for a C-section. I followed up with her the next morning and mom and baby boy were doing great! 
Momma and baby after C-section
visiting them on Friday in the postnatal ward. Bruce and the kids came to see them as well.

Near the end of my day I delivered a baby boy whom I named Paul which means humble. I named him this because he was going to slip into the world without anyone even knowing. I literally turned around to find this momma pushing and out was coming little Paul! Thankfully I turned when I did! 
baby Paul

Wednesday Bruce and the kids and I with some team members went to Niriksheena the clinic that Bruce has mentioned in the past posts. It is for HIV patients and run by a beautiful Indian Christian couple who are both doctors.  Bruce and the kids spent the first part of the morning doing home schooling in the back offices of the clinic while the few members of our team and I taught 2 groups of women about anemia. We taught them how to recognize it and what to do to prevent and treat it and we also shared the Gospel.  6 women came forward to give their lives to Jesus and to learn more about him. One of the best parts was a local Indian woman who stepped forward and asked to give a testimony to how God was healing her. She and her husband both were diagnosed with HIV but through prayer both of them continue to have great CD4 counts (CD4 count is the monitoring factor of an HIV status) She was able to lead the 6 women who came forward to the Lord in their own language which is such a blessing! After the teachings I went back to continue the kids home schooling work and Bruce was able to see patients in the clinic.  It is always such a blessing when both of us have an opportunity to serve and learn from those who are already serving in healthcare.
Thursday I was back in the labor ward and delivered a little girl who decided to enter the world face up!! This is a very difficult delivery for the momma and we were unaware that the baby was coming this way and I had a post grad that was very unwilling at first to let me conduct the delivery.  I convinced her that we could work together. When the momma was having a hard time in her pushing progress I got her up into a squat and she made some progress. However the PGs are very uncomfortable with any position other than flat on the mommas back so the PG decided she didn’t want to be involved anymore and I was able to do the delivery. What a surprise when little Liliana decided to come out face up! No wonder this momma was having such a hard time! Lilanna was such a precious little one and she looked like a little elf! Momma was in hysterics by the end and was very happy when it was all over.  
Sweet Lilianna

Friday I was back in the Antenatal clinic and got some great experience palpating mommas bellies and listening to the fetal heart rate with only a stethoscope. I was also able to get out early and spend some time with Bruce and kids which is always a welcome surprise!! We did some exploring and shopping for Josiah's birthday outfit. He turns 3 this next Sunday! We thought it only appropriate that he needed a prince outfit. 
trying on some outfits.
some market shots

break for ice cream!

always a crowd of interested people

home schooling Josiah style!

before heading to Hard Rock Cafe Friday evening. my first attempt at wearing a sari although I wore a t-shirt underneath.

Josiah was able to get a hotdog at Hard Rock and was so excited!!

beef hamburger. and it didnt even taste like Indian food as most attempts at Western food do! 
This week this kids did awesome at school. I'm really amazed at Abigail's ability to learn and it's a pleasure to see her get so excited the more words she is able to read. Josiah is doing great too although at his age he learns more from playing. Monday we were learning about geography and the planets so on a whim I decided to take them to the local planetarium. Too bad! We got there and it was closed until the afternoon. In India however, anytime you make a plan you have to expect that it may not turn out so you have to roll with the punches. There was a science museum next door and so we went there instead and the kids loved it. They had a lot of different interactive things to do. One was a blowing machine that kept a plastic ball suspended in air. Holy cow! The kids laughed and laughed about that forever. And that's all they talked about all week! You never know what's going to amaze the mind of a child. The museum also had a full dinosaur skeleton on the upper floor and multiple works of art on the lower level. They spent the rest of the week asking to go back. 

the famous ball in the air machine!! (notice the paparazzi in the background.)

Friday I wanted to take them to the Sala Jung museum which is a local art museum located very close to the hospital where Heather works. Too bad! Closed on Friday.... roll with the punches again. That's when we went to shop for Josiah's birthday outfit and also to visit Charminar. Hyderabad was originally located at Golconda Fort (hopefully we'll have some photos posted from there soon when we visit!) but due to a water shortage, the city was moved to current day Hyderabad. After all the diseases due to the water shortage ceased because of the move, the Sultan built Charminar to celebrate. It's kind of like Hyderabad's "Arch de Triumph". Anyway, it was beautiful and we climbed the very narrow winding staircase to the top. There were no foreigners there though and so we were a bit of a novelty and kept getting asked to have pictures taken with our kids. After a while it got exhausting and headed down another very narrow winding staircase to the ground. Our calves and thighs were talking to us the next day. 

on the top

view from the top

our chance to be paparazzi I (Heather) couldn't resist a picture of this beautiful young mom and baby

That's it for this week. Love to all!
P.S. Doesn't my wife look great in a sari!! 
P.P.S. I've grown a mustache just for fun since Indian men are so big into mustaches. I'll put a photo up next week. Lookin pretty creepy by American standards. (and I (Heather) cannot wait for its dismissal!)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

BPs, Babies and 6 year old courage

It’s hard to believe only a week has passed since we last updated. We have been very busy in the last few weeks.  In the 2 short weeks we have been in the hospital our girls have delivered 54 babies and we have given hundreds of women healthcare!  Some days in the labor ward are marked by joy and 7 babies being delivered in a short amount of time with little problems contrasted to heavy days where we see many still births and babies fighting for their little lives.
At the beginning of this week Bruce and the kids and I and some members of our team were able to go to a YWAM run boys home to teach 19 boys (ages 4-12) hygiene and teeth brushing.  Bruce was also able to do health checks on the boys and diagnose a few ear infections, eardrum perforations, skin rashes and massive cavities and decay in the boys’ teeth.  We taught them basic hygiene info using songs and games to reinforce the lessons.  Our kids had such a fun time playing with the boys and running around the yard at the home.  They also received from the kids a little rickshaw auto toy! They are so cute and a great keepsake from India.  

teaching movements to a song

helping Daddy teach about Brushing teeth

Helping Mommy teach how to wash your hands

Cheung Me from Korea who runs the YWAM home for boys

Simon says "Brush your teeth"

dont worry they didnt actually ride this.. although it wouldnt be uncommon here :)

On Weds this week I was back in the labor ward and assisted in delivering a preemie baby that sadly did not make it.  It’s truly sad when you know if only the right equipment where available that they may have had a chance. This little girl was not so fortunate. We tried to resuscitate her but we didn’t even have the proper equipment to use on a baby as small as her. The truth is that even if we were able to bring her back they lack the neonatal unit to insure she has the best fighting chance. I named her Hope. She was also the 3rd baby her mother had lost for the same issue of premature birth.  With 500 women a day receiving antenatal care by 4-5 doctors in one morning clinic with each woman averaging about 30 seconds with the doctor, it is no wonder why cases like hers go overlooked.   There is a desperate need for doctors to share the healthcare workload of the roughly 3 million women here.  I was able to pray for blessings for this momma and pray for her to get the care she needs if she becomes pregnant again.
On Thursday I delivered a little boy! He was actually large by Indian standards coming in at 3.4kg. He needed some resuscitation at birth but quickly responded and after a day in the nursery for observation was released to his momma! I named him David because there was a lot of chaos and confusion at his birth with doctors yelling and his resuscitation, but he defeated his Goliath!  I prayed that he would continue to conquer the Goliaths in his life with God’s help. (We pray and ask God for a name for each baby we deliver. It is not used by the family, but just for our purposes in praying for each baby and blessing them with a name that also helps us to remember)

look at him next to an average baby!

I followed him to the nursery to do a newborn check later

I hope that my sharing of the hospital and these precious lives is not too depressing. Our desire is to share the joys and the sorrows of our work here. These are the things that bring joy and sorrow to our Father’s heart as well. It’s our hope that by sharing these stories people will understand a bit more what it’s like here. 
I spent one other day this week in the antenatal clinic taking blood pressures and trying to get the women to smile. They are mostly so efficient and composed and serious when they come in. Some of its fear; they want to know everything is going to be okay because they all know someone who has not had a good outcome at the hospital. Some of it is the direct efficiency it takes to run a clinic for 500 women a day: walk in, slap your arm on the table for your BP, hop up on the table, get your baby bump touched, the doctor takes a few notes and you are on your way! This after hours of waiting in lines!! So any opportunity I had to get a smile I took it. Pretending I couldn’t find their pulse and then acting shocked was a big hit. It was a great morning. 
Friday I stayed home sick. I ended up with a stomach bug that gave me a fever and started antibiotics almost as soon as we figured out what it was. I rested and thank you Jesus I am better!
When we lived in Ft. Lauderdale 6 years ago, an Indian gentleman from the ministry Gospel for Asia spoke at the local church we attended. After the service he encouraged everyone to sponsor one or two kids in India so they could go to Bridge of Hope centers and learn the Bible and about Jesus. These kids are lower-caste including the so-called “untouchables”. One of the girls we sponsored, Laxshmi, has been corresponding with us this entire time. The other child got shuffled around and we lost contact so about 2 years ago they gave us another 4 year-old boy named Hosana. Both of these kids happen to live in the province of Andra Pradesh where we are and so we contacted the ministry and were able to meet both of our sponsor children yesterday.
We didn’t know exactly what to expect but we got picked up and drove an hour just outside of Hyderabad. There they sat us down and gave us flowers and cokes while the kids at this particular Bridge of Hope center performed songs and dances for us as well as recited psalms and other Bible verses. We in turn got to teach them some other songs that we know and they enjoyed that a lot.
Our sponsor kids had come with their mothers and we found out they had come from up to 7 hours away to meet us! Laxshmi and Hosana are from small villages and you could tell they were a bit intimidated just by being near the big city of Hyderabad. So after the big program was over we were able to meet our children individually and talk with them and pray with them with the help of a translator of course.
We talked to Hosana first because we wanted to put him out of his misery. From the moment he was introduced to us he just cried and didn’t want anything to do with us. We felt bad and kept telling his mom that we understood and our children are sometimes the same way. He warmed up slightly when we gave him a present of Memory, the game. Then about 20 minutes later while we were visiting with Laxshmi he stormed back into the room and said emphatically, “I am Hosana! I am in the 3rd class (first grade)! I will pray for you!” Then he prayed and sang all the songs he knew and recited all the Bible verses he knew. It was awesome. At the last minute he really came out of his shell. The staff told us that he’s one of the best in his class.
Laxshmi was a beautiful and shy girl. She showed us all the crumbled letters and pictures we had sent her over the years. She told us she wants to grow up to be a doctor and we encouraged her in this. We also encouraged her to study English so we can someday correspond without a translator. At the end when we prayed it was very powerful. Heather and I were talking today and saying that we never would have guessed that we would ever meet Laxshmi or Hosana, and here we just did and how amazing it was. God is just too cool for words sometimes…   

Laxshmi is in the light blue. Beautiful!!

In line to recite Bible verses and prayers


teaching them a few songs

miserable Hosanna

Laxshmi showing Abigail the picture she had that Abigail sent her.

I am HOSANNA I am in the 3rd CLASS!

Hosannas mother and brother with us

Laxshmis mother and brother with us

handing out candy we brought

slum farm? pigs, coats and chickens everywhere!!

Our drivers drove about 4 hrs total bringing us to and from the GFA center so we treated them to KFC for dinner.. they were great!!

and we treated ourselves to chicken and milkshakes as well!!