Thursday, May 9, 2013

Final Projects, Home Visits and Purpose Update

It's been busy busy in the hospital labor ward. It's been actually really interesting.  The past 2 weeks there has been a weird flow.  They only have about 12 beds for women and 4 high cost beds (a more private and cushy environment.. although there isn't that much of a difference) Lately there has been a lot of obstructed labors or complicated ones. This is the highest level of referral hospitals in the area. So all of the patients are referred from clinics or hospitals for higher care for one reason or another. Most of what we see is pre-eclampsia or pregnancy induced hypertension and then we get the women who are more prone to hemorrhage or maybe have had problems in previous pregnancies. We also see a lot of VBAC patients (normal delivery after a c-section).  Lately the beds have all been taken for long periods of time by more complicated patients leaving the currently non-complicated ones to labor on the floor or bench in the hallway. This makes for very interesting care of patients. There is no real way to monitor the moms in the hallway because its crowded and well.. it's a hallway.  This sometimes ends up with cases where someone starts delivering in the hall and you just have to run and catch the baby.  We had one such case last week and the mom ended up hemorrhaging right there on the floor. One of our staff was the one to catch the baby and all of us scrambled to give care, setting up IVs and trying to administer the drugs to stop the bleeding... all on the floor in the middle of the hallway. 

On Sunday I received a phone call from a mom that I have known for a few weeks. She was in the hospital on Friday again because her blood pressure was sky high. She was receiving drugs as a preventative for stopping seizures and lowering her blood pressure. She was about 34 weeks pregnant but she was measuring per ultrasound at 27 weeks.  She called me crying saying that she needed to have a c-section because her blood pressure was no longer responding to the medication and it was becoming unsafe for her. We prayed together that the baby would live and that the ultrasound which said the baby was only 1 kilo would be wrong.  She called me the next day to say she had a baby girl that weighed 1.9 kilos! Baby is doing well but is receiving care in the nursery because of her preemie status.  Praise God for answered prayers!

I met a mom a few weeks ago who seriously brought light where ever she went. I helped her labor most of the day to no avail. She ended up having a c-section that evening because she was not progressing and was a VBAC patient. She was the best patient. I told her to walk up and down the halls and dance and to keep moving hoping it would move the baby down and progress her. She did it all.. and with a beaming smile on her face! Most of our girls got to know her that day because they were like "who is this smiling dancing woman?" The real kicker is it was discovered 2 days after she had the baby that she had malaria during her whole labor!! You would have never guessed. Betty was amazing. She shared the food her family brought her with those around her and she was such a pleasure to be around.  She is 2 years older than me and she has a 21yr old, a 10 year old and now a newborn! As a family we had the pleasure of visiting her at her mom's house. Her mom and dad were just as sweet as she was and our kids had a blast playing with her 10 yr old and some neighborhood friends in the front yard.  Home visits are a part of what we do during this school. Its a great way to build relationships and also offer after birth care to the moms. Its also just a great way to share the love of God.
Her daughter Precious.

Betty's 2nd born Elias

Josiah was in heaven being pushed around in this.

grandma spoiling rights cross all cultural barriers. Josiah enjoying a jelly doughnut with Betty's mom.

Beautiful Betty!

Bruce had a blast with Betty's mom.. she was hilarious!

Bruce put on some sympathy weight.

big boy!

Betty's Dad

I wish I had an amazing update about baby Purpose. But I don't. She has, against all odds, remained alive now for 3 weeks despite her fragile state. She is still infection free and eating and is still self sustaining.  She has had some tissue die and has seemed to make a turn for the worst but then the next day she seems much better. We have so many times asked ourselves "How is this baby still alive?" We have seen babies far better off than her physically that don't make it. But she keeps fighting away. The docs have taken her off of antibiotics and she is just now receiving regular care and our team continues to change her dressings. 
Her mom has received a lot of flack from the family as culturally a lot of times any deformity is considered a curse. Please continue to pray for this mom, this family and this baby. We don't expect Purpose to make it in her current surroundings but we do believe she is alive with a purpose. We have already received a lot of feed back from the staff thanking our team for the care that has been given. If anything we are able to share the message that life is God given and all life is worth fighting for. This is a huge thing in a culture where death can be so normal that if you see a life struggling to survive you don't delay the inevitable.
We are very aware that baby purpose probably didn't stand a chance in her surroundings. Even if she had, by some miracle, get the care she needed it still would've been a long hard road caring for her in a developing nation. But every day of life is a gift from God and worth fighting for!

15 days left in Zambia and I have finished all my skill requirements and final project. I am just now trying to enjoy the last 2 weeks and soak up all the experience I can. It's going to go fast!

I leave you with a few pics of the kids from the past week:

thanks for the fun craft Grandma Davis!

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