Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Semester, New Faces and birth stories

I'm back in school at Sacramento City College, just taking a couple classes for funsies, Debate Team and Fashion Illustration.

I signed up for "Fashion Portfolio" the advanced fashion illustration class. Unfortunately including myself only two advanced students enrolled in the class, the rest are newbies. So my teacher is going over the basics again. Which is fine, I need practice.


In other news, we're still actively searching for a house. Every morning I get up and check the new listings. We have some good leads and today we're going to go to one I really like and see if the guts are good. This house is on 27th, just past Broadway (not quite Midtown, not quite Curtis Park), it's a craftsman style, built in the 20s, wood floors, large back yard, everything I want in a house. So, we'll see.

House hunting can be rather discouraging - but the financial benefit to owning far outweighs renting right now. So the search continues.

In still other news: my mother is incredible. She's working as a midwife in Tanzania right now and saving tiny lives right and left.
Here's an excerpt from their most recent news letter:

"I’ve had a great couple weeks in the labor ward. Last Tuesday I helped in a breech birth, with a prolapsed cord (cord coming out before the baby), a detached placenta (placenta detaches before the baby) and a very premature baby. The baby came out in his sac, I had to rupture the membrane after he was born, and then he was flat, only a heartbeat. But Emily (another BAS student) took the baby and did resuscitation. Within five minutes he was crying, flexing, and pinking up. Doing everything a new baby should do. That baby had so many things against him, he shouldn’t have lived, but God had other ideas. So cool! Then I did another birth later that day. This time the baby was a perfect baby girl, but the Mom was very anemic. She was so worn out afterward. They were checking her blood for blood type so she could get a transfusion as we were leaving.

My beautiful mother and a brand new person.
On Thursday, I assisted two ladies, both multipara (mother of many children). The first was laboring so quietly I thought things were a ways off and I went to the other room for just a few minutes and when I came back she was pushing a head out. The local nurse/midwife was there and by the time I got gloves on I was able to catch the baby and put him on his mom's belly. The second lady was giving birth to her fifth child; it was fun to communicate with her in my broken Swahili that I also have five children. Another peaceful birth.
This last week,  I was in the prenatal ward, where the ladies first come when they think they are in labor. We monitor them, taking vital signs and doing internal exams to determine how the labor is progressing. When the mom reaches 6cm dilation we walk them next door to the labor ward. Things were quiet on Wednesday; we only had about 16 ladies laboring away. I was checking on a mom who was having contractions close together when I looked up I saw a woman on the exam table with membranes bulging out. My instructor, Rachel, (some of you know her, she is a friend of Melody's and Peter says the person to blame for this crazy adventure) called me over as she was trying to get on sterile gloves before the baby was born. I miraculously found a pair of size eight sterile gloves and was able to get them on and into the action after the head was born. The cord was around the neck twice so we carefully helped the rest of the body come out and untangled the baby. I placed the baby on the mom's tummy and rubbed the baby's back, as I did this she let out a good hearty cry. By now every doctor, nurse, midwife and student was standing around watching. One of the very experienced nurses yelled, "check for another baby", I thought she was just teasing, but sure enough the mom still looked nine months pregnant. Before I could think about what to do next, there were more membranes bulging out and then another head. Again with the cord around the neck twice, but there was plenty of room and we were able to deliver the baby through the cord. Rachel was guiding my hands the whole time. I am still not that sure of what do with twins. As soon as the second baby was out he started to cry. The doctor standing nearby said, "that's a 10" (referring to the Apgar score). There was some dancing around as we maneuvered babes and attendants, but I was able to clamp and cut both cords.  Live female born @ 10:45am, Apgar 9/10, 2.3 kg or 5 lbs. Live male born @ 10:50am, Apgar 10/10, 3kg or 6.6 lbs. Mom and babies are doing well."

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