Monday, August 30, 2010

Adventures In The Birth Room

It’s been a busy weekend! I’m not even sure where to start! Friday would be as good a place as any so I guess I’ll start there!
I had my first shift on Friday night. 10pm to 6am. It was a long night, but the time went fast. A woman had just been admitted at 9:50 so Maria and I took her chart and began to prepare. I watched as Maria checked the woman. It wasn’t very long before she was ready to push! By 1 she had her baby! It was my first birth and it was amazing!

Not too long after that another woman came in. I got to help a lot more with her. I ran all around the birth room, grabbing towels and gloves and anything the midwives said they needed. Her labor went very fast as well and by early morning I had seen my second birth! Then I went home and slept.
Saturday came and went without very much happening. I slept till 2 in the afternoon and then went to get some dinner at McDonalds. That evening, Christina and Josh invited us over to their house for dessert and games. It was a lot of fun! It probably would have been more fun if I hadn’t been so sleepy!
Sunday came and I still wasn’t able to sleep in! I had to get up for church! My housemate, Heidi, and I were off to try and find the church that we had gotten lost trying to find last week! We found it this time and loved it! It’s a good church and I think that I will go back.
I also had swing shift on Sunday. Swing is from 2pm to 10pm. I forgot that we’re on our own for dinner on weekend so I was very thankful to the interns who brought food over to us! I was shadowing Makayla. We had a woman come in shortly after we got on shift. She was 8cm dilated so it seemed like she would have her baby any time. But she was having trouble relaxing. Makayla had her try many different positions to get the baby to move down, but nothing seemed to be working. It’s a good thing that this woman had a very loving husband and mother who were there for her. Her bana (husband) rubbed her back, supported her, made her milo to drink and just loved on her so much. It was so beautiful to see! The bana was there while I was taking fetal heart tones. The moment he heard that baby’s heartbeat, his eyes went wide with amazement and awe!
Finally, around 7, the mother was ready to push. We had several other births going on and no one to assist! It was just Makayla and I. I looked at her and asked if I should put gloves on and she said yes because it was looking like I was going to have to assist her even though I’m really only supposed to be observing right now! Luckily, one of the interns who has far more experience than I came in at the last minute and was able to assist. The baby was born around 8:30. 
So it’s been one of the most amazing weekends of my life! I haven’t had much sleep, but that’s ok. I’ve gotten to see some of the most wonderful women give birth to beautiful babies and that is absolutely worth the lack of sleep!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Clinic, McDonalds, and Shifts!


Sorry there's no pictures in this one!

I had clinic, or prenatals, for the first time on Tuesday! I was worried that it would be tiring and stressful, but it wasn’t. I loved it! I was shadowing Krys, the director, because she had switched with my regular supervisor Heather. Krys is a great teacher and she encouraged me to jump right in. So I did! She showed me how to measure the fundis, or belly of the mother, find the position of the baby, check the fetal heart tones, and fill out the patient’s chart. I was really excited because most all of my measurements were correct! There was only two or three times out of elven that I couldn’t find the position of the baby or get the right measurement of the belly. I loved getting to see and pray for so many ma’ay gwapa mga buntis! (That means beautiful pregnant women in Bisaya, the language here.) I can’t wait for next Tuesday to do it again!

Today I went to the Immigration office to get an extension on my visa. That went smoothly. The best part was afterwards when I treated myself to McDonalds at the mall! I got a double cheeseburger, small fry, and Coke for about 95 pesos. That’s only about $2! It was so good! It wasn’t quite like McDonalds at home, but it was close. And my cheeseburger was smothered in cheese!
In other news, I have my first shift in the birth room tonight! Hopefully I’ll get to see some babies! I’m on night shift so I’ll have to be there from 10pm to 6am. I’ll be up all night so please keep me in your prayer!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Paradise Is Aptly Named


What a week! Well, two days really. We went to the Paradise Resort. It’s on an island across the bay. We all got up really early so that we could be ready to go by six. Then we piled into the ambulance and Kry’s car and drove the where we would depart from. We hopped on a little boat and headed across the ocean to Paradise Island!

We got there in time for breakfast. After eating we got settled in to our houses and then headed to the pavilion for orientation. We spent several hours learning about NewLife’s policies, the culture of the Philippines, and several other things. Then we hit the beach! 
Blue water, white sand, sunshine! Paradise is aptly named. The beach was great! There was a distinct lack of waves, but I had fun anyways. I got to see all kinds of fish! 

                               The food was great! Fresh fish, fresh 
fruit, french fries! I even got 
a toasted cheese sandwich. That was quite the treat! 

The second day at Paradise was cloudy and a little chilly. So I paid about $8 and got a full body massage on the beach. It was amazing!
          I think, if I’ve got nothing else to do, I’ll go back to Paradise for Christmas...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fruit and Vital Signs


I’m getting more and more adjusted to the time change I think. I didn’t crash last night until 10. I did, however, get up at 5...  My bananas were calling. 
We went to the market yesterday! I loved it! There is so much food at the market! Fruit, rice, meat, you name it! I forgot to take my camera so no pictures this time, but I’ll remember to take it next time. It doesn’t smell the best, but it’s the only place you can get four avocados for less than a dollar!

We also toured the clinic yesterday afternoon. That was pretty cool. I got to see the prenatal and postpartum rooms as well as the birth room! There were no babies yet, just a couple of women in labor. But I start my shifts in the clinic in two weeks so I’m sure there will be some babies then! I can’t wait!

I took my first real shower here last night. It was pretty nice. There’s not a lot of water pressure, but it’s better than nothing! It was warm too! For the first half at least. Then, without warning, it switched to cold... I didn’t mind too much though, it was warm enough outside that the cool water felt really good. 
Here is my address here so you can send me stuff! 
Ashton Crain
Mercy Maternity
Po. Box 81227
Davao City 8000

Ashton Crain
Mercy Maternity Center
#10 First Opal Street
Near Corner Veloso/Dacudao
Agdao/Obrero, Davao City 8000

I love stuff of all kinds! Big stuff, little stuff, fluffy stuff! I can find clothes here just fine, but if you can figure out a way to send me cheese without it going bad that would be pretty awesome. Cheese is pretty expensive here... I can’t think of anything that I really need right now, but you can send me just about anything and I’ll be pretty happy about it. Letters too! I love getting letters! Even if it’s just a line and a doodle!

Well I’ve got to go. I’ve got class in about 15 minutes. We’re taking blood pressure and vitals and such! Wish me luck! Much Love!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Have Arrived


I’m sitting in the living room of my new house in Davao City. I’m tired, a little dizzy, and still adjusting to the fact that I am no longer in America. I’m clean now. I had a bucket shower about two hours ago. Most of my things are put away. It’s hot and humid, but I love it because it reminds me of Africa. It smells the same. 
I left home on Friday. I packed my things, gathered my paperwork and flew to Portland to meet up with the other girls who I will be living with for the next two years. I already love all of them. We spent the weekend in Clatskanie, Oregon. We climbed a mountain, played on a cold beach and just relaxed, got to know each other and enjoyed each other’s company. A wonderful couple, Gary and Lynn Jones put up with us, shuttled us around, and fed us while we were there.

On Monday morning, the group of 11 girls, myself included, boarded the plane heading to Seoul, South Korea. The flight was eleven hours long. I don’t sleep well on planes so you can imagine how tired I was after that. A shorter flight took us Manila where we stayed the night in the airport and our final flight, at four a.m. took us to our new home in Davao City. We’d been traveling for over 36 hours straight. 
We were greeted at the airport by several of the second year students as well as the director of the school Krys McNeil. There were hugs all around as we finally met many of the people that we’d heard so much about. 
We loaded our luggage into the various vehicles that awaited us and then piled into the back of the maternity center ambulance. We all gazed in awe at the city around us. We were happy to finally be in Davao. 
After a short ride from the airport we arrived at our new home. The Orange House at Mercy Maternity Center. We were fed a tasty breakfast of fresh fruit and scones. Then, I took a nap. 
So far I have avoided being sick, which is unusual for me. Usually long plane rides make me throw up at least once, but so far all my food has stayed in my stomach and it looks like it’s going to stay there. So I’m happy about that.