Wednesday, November 16, 2011


So. It’s almost 5 am. I got off shift at 10 pm, went to bed at 12. Got called back in at 3 am for a continuity patient. I’m supposed to work clinic in the morning. That’s so not going to happen anymore. Sorry clinic people.

October was a busy month. I caught 7 babies. With this catch I’ll be at 48! I’ve caught nearly as many babies in these last 4 months as I did in my entire first year of school.

Other than catching babies I didn’t do a whole lot. I went to the beach a couple of weeks ago. Basically just napped the whole time I was there. It was nice to just sleep. I’ve never appreciated sleep as much as I do now.

I spend a lot of time working on assignments at Starbucks. It’s kind of a comfort thing. It’s nice to have somewhere that feels a bit like home. Actually, the entire new mall that opened up in May feels like home. I go there and walk around when I need to feel normal, which is a lot lately.

I found a Japanese place I like quite a bit. Dynamite rolls are the bomb. Hehe. Actually Heidi and I are planning to poke around Japan for a week or so on our way home in July. We’re planning on going to the Studio Ghibli museum which is a really big deal for me! I also plan on finding Godzilla. Tokyo here I come in... 36 weeks! That’s weird. I have less than a full pregnancy left before I go home. Time goes by so fast here!

My brother may be coming to visit in April. I’m super excited for that! I really miss him and my family and it would be fun to show him around and stuff. He’d even possibly be here for graduation in May! And for the Avengers movie so I’d have someone to geek out with.

So... it turns out I make really good bread. Who’d have thought? So far I’ve made bagels, biscuits, and two different kinds of bread (One’s a quick bread, the other is a self rising bread) My rosemary bread never has any leftovers. I even made four loaves last time to try and make sure there’d be left overs! I really enjoy it. I’m making bread for Thanksgiving because that’s just how I roll. Hehe. Ok I’ll stop with the puns now. Maybe.

Hmmm... What else? My brain is fried. It’s 5:20 am and I’ve only had 2 hours of sleep. I’m going to try and rest for a little bit. My patient is 9 cm, but she’s sleeping in her cubical so I think I’ve got a little bit of time. As always thank you for your prayers and support! Letters and packages are always welcome!

Here’s some pictures of a friend and I enjoying some sushi!

Thursday, October 20, 2011



I’ve told you guys a few birth stories and so far, they’ve all been good. But, it’s not always like that. I transport a lot of patients to the hospital. I’ve probably transported more than I’ve delivered. Sometimes it’s easy. It’s a patient who is ok with being transported. You haven’t made any attachments to her. You’ve only spent 10-20 minutes with her while you were checking her in. Other times, it’s really hard. It’s a patient who, when you tell her that you’ve got to transport her, buries her face in your shoulder and starts sobbing because she is so scared. It’s a patient who you’ve labored with for the last 8 hours and have really connected with. It’s a continuity that you’ve done all her prenatals for since she was 7 weeks pregnant. Those are hard.

I’ve had a couple of difficult transports in the last couple of weeks. My first one wasn’t a labor, it was a baby check. I’d delivered the baby a couple of days before. The mother was this really adorable 16 year old. It’s interesting with 16 year olds. Some of them who come in, they’re women. They’re grown up. Others are really still just kids. This is one of the ones who was just a kid still. She labored really well. The birth was a little difficult. The baby was a bit stuck because the girl’s perineum was really tight and we were sure that we were going to have to do an episiotomy. In the end, we didn’t have to. I thought for sure her tear would be huge, but it was actually really small. In the end, I was really proud of this girl.

So, on Sunday, they came in for their 3 day baby check. Everything seemed normal, until I checked the baby’s heart rate. It was 68. The average for a baby’s heart rate is about 120-140. I called the supervisor to have her recheck. She got 80. With massive amounts of stimulation we could get it up to 116. Something wasn’t right. We explained to the girl and her mother that something was wrong with the baby’s heart and they needed to go to the hospital to have it looked at. So I went with them to the emergency room and staid until I was sure that they were getting care. I’m still waiting to hear back on what the doctor says. I should know next week when they come for their one week baby check.

My second hard transport was a few nights later. I was endorsed a patient when I got to swing shift. It was a really sweet 38 year old. It was her fifth baby. Her second baby had been born in the hospital and was a still birth. Her last two babies were born at Mercy. I labored with her for all of shift. She was great! She was walking around, drinking, going to the bathroom often. She was happy and talkative between contractions, joking with the midwifes and baby checks who were there. She was a perfect labor. Anything I asked her to do she did. I had really good feelings about this birth.

Around 7:30 she was in a lot of pain and her contractions were really frequent. I went and sat with her in her cubical and just rubber her back. Then I asked her if I could pray for her. She said yes and I did. Just as I finished my prayer, she asked for a birth stool. I was so excited! Usually the women here want to give birth flat on their back. When they want to give birth squatting or on the birth stool it’s always a special treat. It’s a more natural position than laying down. They’re less likely to tear. And it’s just a nice change up from what we usually see. So we get her on the birth stool. I get a mirror and flashlight so I can see what’s going on. She pushes a little with contractions and I see what looks like her bag of water. My supervisor is holding the flashlight for me and she says that it looks a little funny. So she repositions the flashlight so we can see a little better. It’s definitely not the bag of water. It’s her bladder. Our first response to such a distended bladder this late in the game is to catheterize. So we did that and then just tried to hold the bladder up. I was having trouble holding it though so my supervisor decided to help me out. She took over. The moment she slid her fingers in she went, “Something’s wrong.”

The woman wasn’t fully dilated, but neither I or my supervisor could really tell how far along she was. Her cervix was mushy and flappy and strange. The supervisor speculated that it was possibly a previously torn cervix that hadn’t been sutured. Either way, we just aren’t equipped to deal with what we were up against. The baby’s head would come down well with pushing, but it would get caught against the bladder and cervix. If she kept pushing there was a possibility that her bladder would rupture. So we explained to her that we were going to have to transport. She cried. I wanted to cry. I was now doing three things at one time. I was trying to coach her in breathing through contractions, help the supervisor put an IV in, and help a first year fill out transport papers. Finally, we were able to get the woman into a wheelchair and to the ambulance. On the way to the hospital I could see how scared she was. I’m pretty sure it was because the last time she gave birth in the hospital, her baby was stillborn. I did the only thing I could at that point. I reached my hand over and placed it ok her belly and just prayed. I prayed that she would have peace. I prayed that the doctors would have wisdom and compassion. I prayed that her delivery would go well and that both her baby and her would be fine. When I was done, she looked at me through her tears and thanked me. I told her that I was so sorry there was nothing else I could do, but I would continue to pray for her. That seemed to help calm her.

We got to the hospital and I explained the situation to the doctor. The doctors have always been pretty nice to me and this time was no different. They took my patient and got her to the birth bed immediately. The doctor told me I could go. I went back to the ambulance and just continued to pray for the woman. Sometimes there’s nothing else you can do.

So there you have it. Yes, there are good births and good shifts. There are also hard births and hard shifts. There are so many situations that only prayer gets you through. And that’s not just midwifery, that’s with missionary life in general.

Ok. Enough about the birth room. Here’s what I’ve been up to other than babies. I went to the beach with one of the first years on Saturday. We spent the entire afternoon laying in hammocks, eating deep fried bananas, and drinking coke. It was exquisite. Afterwards, around dinner time, we went to Precious Gardens Resort for dinner.

We ate down on the beach. Our waiter was great! He was a Baptist who had a million questions for us. We ate our dinner and just talked with him about God and the Bible and everything. There were a few times when he started tearing up. It was really refreshing to have a genuine conversation with a Filipino and know that he wasn’t just talking to me because I’m white. He was very sincere with us and I really appreciated it. He also told me that I have a nice smile.

Other than that I’ve been pretty busy with my assignment and birth room shifts. I caught six babies in September! Five of them were within two weeks of each other! So I’ve been pretty busy!

My birthday was last week. I didn’t really do much. But hey, I’m 21 now... I don’t really have any plans until after I’m finished with this assignment, but I’m probably going to the beach for a couple of days. I could use a break. As always, thank you all for your prayer and support! It’s all greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Truth About Missionary Life


I’m beginning to realize how important like-mindedness is. Not, I don’t mean conformity, but having someone who shares your passions and same basic goals.

I want to be a missionary. More than anything. I want to live in a mud hut, tree hut, wigwam, tent, trailer, truck, cardboard box. I don’t ever see myself “settling down” and living in one place in a four bedroom house with a dog and a picket fence. I have too much wanderlust for that. I get too bored. I see myself traveling for the rest of my life.

I want to live in the jungle, the desert, deepest, darkest Africa or Asia, or South America. I want to live in the heat and the dirt with no air conditioning or running water. I want to live in the hardest places in the world. The kind of places that most people try to stay away from. It’s those places that my heart breaks for.

I want to live with the minimum. A lifestyle of simplicity appeals to me. I have no need for excess. I find it superfluous. (I find it funny that the word for ridiculously excessive is excessively ridiculous. All I need is a change of clothes, food in my belly, and something to keep the rain off. Well... more or less. Either way, I’ve lived with nothing before. I know what it’s like to live with only what I can fit in a suitcase. And that appeals to me. If it doesn’t bring beauty to my life or have a useful purpose, I don’t need it.

Jesus sent out His disciples two by two. It’s a biblical model. However, finding my “two” has proved to be much harder than I would have suspected. No, Robert and I are not together any more. Why? Read those last three paragraphs again. It had nothing to do with whether or not I loved him or he loved me or how good of a guy he is (Because he’s a great one). It has everything to do with those three paragraphs. That’s not where his heart is. Our basic life goals were different. I need someone called to missionary life.

Let me tell you what missionary life is like. In church, you hear the stories of the miracles and the sweetness of the orphan kids and what it’s like to live in the glory. Yes. There is that. But let me tell you what it looks like to those who live in it every day. It’s dirty and ugly and hard. I know I talk a lot about it being the hardest thing I’ve ever done. That’s an understatement.

Daily life on the mission field? It’s hot. It’s dirty and sweaty and smells like raw sewage and garbage and rotting meat and far too many people crammed together in one city. It’s living without basic comforts like hot water or most dairy products or air conditioning. It means that if it pours rain and it floods, you have to walk 2 miles home in the rain and flood water. It means that if you fall into a sewage ditch because you can’t see through the flood water, you have to drag yourself out of it and walk the rest of the 1.5 miles home even though you’ve sliced your foot open and your textbooks and laptop are wet. (I’m fine by the way. I took lots of medication to make sure I didn’t die.) And you have to hold it together for that mile and a half because sitting down on the sidewalk and sobbing won’t get you home. It means staying up for 32 hours with only an hour of sleep because you have a patient to take care of. Missionary life is not pretty or romantic. It’s not all seeing people come to Christ and miracles every day. Mostly, it’s dying to yourself. It’s messy and hard.

I’m not complaining here. Strange as it may seem it’s the life I want to live. It’s the life I’ve been called to live. And I need someone who is called to that as well. I need someone who is called to give up absolutely everything, every comfort to follow God to the dark places. Not everyone is called to that. Some people are called to the Western world. Stars above, those places need missionaries just as bad as anywhere else. But it’s not where I’m called to. It never has been. I’m called to nothingness.

I am called to have nothing, to be nothing. I am called to have no reputation other than Jesus. Jesus is my reputation. The reason I love Heidi Baker so much? When she walks into a room, Jesus is there. He exudes out of her. He oozes from her very being. I want that. When I walk into a room, I don’t want people to see me. I want them to see Jesus. I don’t care if they ever know my name. I just want them to know Jesus. I want to be a tool, a vessel. I want God to empty me out so that I can be filled with Him. I want to be nothing so that He can be everything.

This isn’t a “less of me, more of God” idea. I feel like He created us to be ourselves. I want to be me to the best of my abilities. I really like me. However, something that is built into who I am, is being filled with Him. It’s all of me and all of Him. Does that make sense? I can only fully be myself if I am fully filled with Him. That’s where the fullness of me come from.

Anyways, that just all kind of came tumbling out... haha. On a lighter note, here are some pictures from the outreach I go on to a nearby island! (LINK)

Also, my birthday is in 1 month a 4 days! Better start sending your packages now! It takes a month for them to get here!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back in Davao...

I figure it’s about that time again... Let me see, what’s happened in the last two months? 
Drove me a lot crazy actually
I went home for a month and as some of you know, my time there was very good. Had a rather unexpected thing happen, but it was a very good kind of unexpected. To elaborate a bit, I’m no longer single! (I’m a little excited about it)
For those of you who haven’t heard the story, here’s the long and short of it. Robert and I were friends before I left. He’s the worship leader at my church. I liked him, but was ok with being his friend if nothing else. He wasn’t sure how he felt about me. I mean, he liked me, but was a little weirded out by the age difference. He just turned 27 and I’m almost 21. So we kept it pretty platonic for awhile. Sure, there was some flirting, but I could never tell if it was just good natured teasing on his part, or if there was something more there. And it drove me a little crazy. 
A few weeks after I got to Davao, he asked me if I would do some album art for the cd his band was releasing (By the way, go buy it! Link) So I did, as you can see on the lovely album cover in the link there... And he told me I owed him big time. I told him he owed me dinner when I got home. 
So here I pause to explain myself a little bit. I’ve been accused, several times now, of plotting. I promise, there was far less plotting than there may seem. I really simply wanted to get to hang out with him when I got home. There was a tiny, hopeful part of me that said, “Hey it’d be cool if this turned into something more.” But I wasn’t getting my hopes up.
So I got home and went to church that Sunday and Robert came and leaned on the wall next to me and said, “Hey! I owe you dinner!” 
And I said, “Yes, yes you do.”
Long story short, we went to dinner. And God saw it fit to delve into that quiet, secret little corner of my heart and dinner turned into dinner and a movie. And dinner and a movie very decidedly turned into a date.
Here’s a picture of us:
Ain't we cute?
He’s coming to visit me in December and I’m super excited! 
Anyways, I’m back in Davao now. I’m officially in my second year and all the babies I catch now count as catches. I’ve caught two babies since I’ve been back. All the second years are leaving in the next couple of weeks and then the new first years get here soon after that. I’ll be getting two new room mates. 
There really hasn’t been all that much going on here since I got back. It’s been a lot of the same stuff. Catching babies, working on assignment. I’m just hoping that this year goes as fast as last year did. I’m looking forward to being done with school.
As always, thanks for your prayers and support! Mail of any kind is always welcome! 

The face I make when the post parakeet comes...

Friday, May 20, 2011

To The Bukid! (And back)

5-16-11 Evening
So I’m laying on a mattress on the floor with a blue mosquito net above me. The backs of my hands are sunburned because I fail at sunscreen. Outside, a man is singing and playing what sounds like a ukelele. I think I’m in love. No, not with the ukelele player, although he is good, but with where I am. I am currently in the middle of the Philippine jungle, also known as the Bukid. I’m about 4 hours outside of Davao surrounded by huts and trees. There is a river about a 2 minute walk away. We went swimming with a bunch of the village kids earlier. This is the kind of stuff I’ve always dreamed about. Adventure. Climbing into the back of a truck and driving 4 hours into the jungle to do health teaching and prenatals. 
Man. I love this. This is where I was meant to be. Outside the city. Villages are where it’s at. Life is slow and sweet. None of the rush, rush, rush. The sounds are so soothing. I can hear bugs chirping, bats squeaking, a baby crying and dogs barking at something. It’s so different from Davao where it’s all cars and tricicabs and motors and horns. I’m excited for tomorrow. We’re headed even deeper into the Bukid for health teachings and prenatals. We have to get up early to go meet the mayor so I should go to bed now. Goodnight!

5-17-11  Evening
It’s rare I find myself so content. This morning seems eons ago. I awoke around 6, got ready and piled, with four other people (including the driver) onto a motorcycle to head into town and meet the mayor. We introduced ourselves and stated our purpose for going to the Bukid. After some friendly chitchat he asked if we were all single. We all laughed and said we were. It’s a big question here in the Phils, usually followed by “Why?” “Do you want a Philippino boyfriend?” and “Can I have your cellphone number?”
After our meeting with the mayor we went to the market where one of the stores was blaring Bob Marley. Freedom Fighters always puts me in a good mood so my spirits were high as we piled back onto the motors to head back to Ate (pronounced Ah-tay) Mary Jean’s village. 
Back at the village we packed our bags and climbed onto the motors to head up into the mountains. Lincey and I were on the biggest motor along with everyone’s bags on a skylab.
Our road took us through some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen. The path was steep and winding. Sometimes I though we wouldn’t make it up the mountain. But when we did... You could see for miles. Rolling hills and mountains covered in deep green rainforest. Places you only see in pictures and movies. Yet there I was, watching it all from my lofty perch on a motorcycle, careening down a dirt road.
We arrived at the village around noon. We spoke with some of the villagers via our shoddy Cebuano and a translator. They were all curious about us. People crowded around to hear our answers to various questions. How old are you? Do you speak Tagalog or Cebuano? The ever important “Are you single?”
We ate lunch after awhile. Rice and chicken. All’s I’ve eaten for the last two days has been rice. Then, since we were all wiped out, we took a nap before starting prenatals. Ate Mary Jean woke us up after about an hour. I woke up in a puddle of sweat.
Our health teaching consisted of a few hastily put together skits about high risk pregnancy. We covered twins, hypertension and anemia as best we could with our broken Cebuano. But the women seemed to understand. 
Some time between taking a woman’s blood pressure and checking the baby’s heart I had this moment that was just so surreal. I felt like I was in a movie or documentary. This is what I’ve dreamed of my whole life. I’m in a village, in the mountains of a developing country teaching women how to care for themselves and giving immunizations. It’s every missionary story I’ve ever read, except that it’s not a story for once. It’s my life. 
After prenatals a woman brought her son to us. He’d fallen and scraped his arm and head. I had the opportunity to clean him up and bandage his scrapes. What we’re doing here is so much more than midwifery. So much of what I’m learning is applicable to so many areas.
In the evening it started to rain so we put on our bathing clothes and went to the well. We bathed in the middle of the village in a big stone tub while it poured rain. It was such a “you know your a missionary when” moment. 
As our day began to wind down we curled up with cups of coffee and talked about our futures. We talked (as groups of girls are wont to do) about the kind of men we’d like to marry. I know I’d have to marry a missionary. A doctor or a teacher or something. I can’t stay in one place too long. 4-5 years at the most before I start to get restless. I have to move. I can’t live in America for the rest of my life. Being a missionary, living in Africa and being here has ruined anything other than being a missionary for me. I love it. It’s hard. It makes me cry. It makes me angry. It makes me hurt. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Nothing else stirs my heart the way this does. Nothing else makes me cry this way, makes me this angry or hurt this much. Nothing else makes me love so deep or feel so alive. It’s my passion, my calling, the desire of my heart. It’s who I am and who I am called to be.

5-18-11 Morning
I don’t think the sound I want to make even has a phonetical spelling. I ache. All over. We had two choices for a bed last night. The tile floor with a bamboo mat or a plywood bed with a bamboo mat. Makayla and Lincey called the floor. I’m pretty sure it was more comfortable than the bed. But hey. Now I know that I really can sleep on a rock if need be.
Anyways. It’s pouring rain and we’re headed to another village later. At least I won’t have to worry about being sunburned. Just about getting soaked. Also, even remote regions such as this are not free from Beiber fever. Over the pouring rain comes the sound of the voice of a prepubescent 17 year old. Baby, baby, baby ooh..

5-18-11 Still morning
We’re waiting on Genevive (a local midwife) to meet us before we head to the next village. We had rice for breakfast again. And instant coffee. After breakfast we walked around the village for a little while. The little kids ran from us. It’s so beautiful out here. It’s so green and there are flowers everywhere! A lot of the younger kids run around naked. If I were to come back to the Phils long term, this is what I’d want to do. Travel around with someone. Go around to villages and do prenatals and whatever medical stuff I could. Today I helped a woman who had what appeared to be an ear infection. I remembered that you can flush an infected ear with hydrogen peroxide. I just wish we’d brought some medication with us. She could have used some antibiotics. Yesterday, even simple Tylenol would have helped. We had a little girl with a fever come to us for help and there wasn’t really anything we could do. I need to make an outreach bag I think. I’ll come up with a list of things to take with me next time.
I could do this. Live in a village. Live in a little house and travel to other villages and do prenatals and births and simple med stuff. With a small garden and some chickens I could even be pretty self sufficient! Maybe one day...

5-18-11 Evening
So this morning we loaded back onto the motors and proceeded to careen once more through the mountains at “Oh dear God, I’m so glad the speedometer is broken!” KM/H. I exaggerate a bit. But only a bit. It had rained the night before so there was a lot of puddle dodging. The road was mostly dry but at one point we did have to contend with a mudslide. I thought we were going to have to get off the motorcycle and walk!
It didn’t take too long to reach the village. We dropped our stuff off at our host family’s house and went to do more prenatals. The group here was quite a bit more rambunctious than the group yesterday. We introduced ourselves. They asked how old we were and where we were from. And then the ever present “Are you single?” When we said yes they all laughed and cheered. Some of the young men got the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen. 
After prenatals it began to rain. We stayed at the health center for about an hour and just talked and had our merianda (snack). Later, Lincey, Makayla and I decided to walk to the river. We were followed by a bunch of kids.
Eventually the kids decided we were boring. They jumped into the river and swam to the other side to jump off of some low rocks. It wasn’t long before they started calling to us. “Ma’am, ma’am can you swim?” 
After much debate Lincey and I decided that we could indeed swim. We both plunged, fully clothed, into the river, much to the delight of the kids. The current was stronger than I expected but I made it across just fine. We spent some time with the kids laughing and jumping into the water before heading back to the other shore. 
We rejoined Makayla and headed back to our temporary house. After some coffee, one of our drivers came back with a live chicken. We were told that the chicken was dinner and that we could watch him kill it if we wanted. Linc and I took him up on the offer. As we watched, music started blaring from across the street. Someone had cranked up the town’s karaoke machine so that it was just playing music. So now I’m just waiting on dinner and listening to what sounds like Creed or something from across the street. Rad stuff right here.

5-19-11 Evening
So  this morning we headed to Patil, the furthest village you can go to by motor. On the way we once again contended with the mudslide. But this time we were headed uphill. And this time, the mudslide won.
About halfway through the mud our motor tipped over. The skylab kept us from going all the way over, but Lincey and I had to get off and walk. I hopped off the motor and immediately sunk up to my ankles. I was a little worried I might loose my shoes so I took them off and carried them for the 10 feet or so across the mudslide. My feet looked like I was half mudman. Luckily, there was a small stream where I could wash my feet and my flipflops. 
After we got the motor out of the mud we continued on to Patil where we did several prenatals. I’m pretty sure I took BP for every person in the village who was over 40. When they have low BP, anything less than 100/70, they immediately declare themselves anemic. I’m sitting there thinking, “Umm... that’s not what that means...”
After prenatals and a quick lunch of, you guessed it, rice, we loaded back up onto the motors to head back to Ate Mary Jean’s village. After about an hour of driving, my butt was sore and we were back. We took a half an hour or so to unload and rest before promptly deciding that it was naptime.
I woke up around 5 to the sound of rain. It was near dinner time so I decided not to go back to bed. Instead I got up, looked out the window and decided it was time to start building an ark. Late May/ early June is the beginning of rainy season and it shows. It’s flooded outside right now. I just hope we’ll be able to make it home tomorrow. I’ve really loved it out here, but I go back to the states in 11 days and I need to get packing!

5-20-11 Evening
Well, we made it back to Davao! It stopped raining sometime last night and the flood receded enough that the roads weren’t washed out or anything. So we loaded up onto the motors for the last time and headed in to town. We said our goodbyes and hopped a jeepney to Tagum where we took a bus back to Davao. We were home by 11am!
My turtle is still alive. I’m happy to be eating something other than rice and to have a real shower and a good bed. I’m excited to be going home in only 10 days! I also can’t wait to go on outreach again! Ate Mary Jean told us that she needs a team every month. And it only costs about $40 for food and transportation for the week so this is something I’ll definitely be trying to do again! It was definitely one of the best weeks of my life!
Anyway, here is a link to my pictures. There should be more tomorrow or the next day because I still have to get some from the other girls. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Life so far...

Well look at that! Another blog post! Sorry I’m a bit late on this one. Life’s been a little crazy the last couple of weeks. I’ve been really busy with my assignment and working in the birthroom and cooking and cleaning and getting ready to come home. 38 days by the way! Better start making your appointments to see me now!
I had my first real emergency birth a few weeks ago. She bled about 1000 cc which is close to 1/5 of her blood. She came in, had high BP, no hepatitis screening... It was the “nightmare patient” the one you want to transport to the hospital as soon as possible. One problem. The baby was right there. We had to do an episiotomy to get the baby out as quickly as possible due to the mother’s blood pressure. The baby looked really post dates and was in respiratory distress. I took him to the hospital. I haven’t heard anything on how they’re doing yet.
My birth today was much better. Her labor went really fast. 3.5 hours long. Baby was great. Mother only had a small tear! I got to suture for the first time. My supervisor was great. She was super patient with me (Good thing cause I was a mess!) 
My official baby count is 20! How cool is that? That’s roughly 3 babies a month so far.
I’m really looking forward to being home for a bit. It’ll be nice to rest and not have to think so much about schoolwork or catching babies or cooking for 12 people or if a horde of ants is going to eat me in my sleep.
It’s hot.
So in planning ahead, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do after school is over. Be a midwife of course. But where? Fort Mill has a lack of clinics and I need to work under someone in the states for a little while so I’ve been thinking of moving to Charleston and working under a midwife there. If anyone has any suggestions of somewhere else I should consider please let me know :)
The other thing I learned recently is that Iris Ministries just got the go ahead to build a hospital in Pemba. So that’s also an option. I would love, love, love, love, love to go work as a midwife in their hospital! That would be beyond amazing! So that’s just something I’m praying about.

Anywho. I can’t think of anything else right now... The new season of Doctor Who starts this weekend. I’m looking forward to that. Also... THOR! Thor comes out a week early here! So you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be making a trip to the theater in the next week! I’ll also be wearing my Thor shirt when I go. It’s going to be awesome.

Sorry about the lack of pictures... I’m really bad about that... So... here’s a puppy. And my Thor shirt.
Love you guys! Thanks for your prayers and support!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A little bit of a ramble through my thoughts....

Sorry it’s been so long! My “social self” has been on a bit of a strike the last month or so. Anywho, I’m at birth number 17. My last baby had to be transported to the hospital because he was having some trouble breathing so please be praying for him.
I’ve been thinking a lot about when I go home. Both for my break and when I’m home for good. As far as for break goes... well I think my mom has some dates lined up for me. Hehe. That actually makes me laugh a little bit, but I’m looking forward to it at the same time. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a date, even if it’s just for fun. 
It’s looking like I’m going to be pretty busy though! I’ve got so many people to see! So if you want to see me you’d better sign up now! Hehe. Just kidding. While I am going to be pretty busy, I’m sure I’ll have time for everyone.
As far as when I get home for good... Well I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do after I take my NARM. Getting a job is a given, but there aren’t very many clinics in Fort Mill. I’d like to get a job at one of them if possible. It would be nice to be able to stay close to home. But if I have to move, my first choice would be to Charleston. I like the idea of living near the beach. That would mean getting a place and room mates and everything. I’d be about four hours away from my family. Which isn’t really too far... But still... I think I’d miss my mom.
Life here isn’t as stressful as it was. I’ve gotten mostly caught up on my school work and have adjusted to the culture. Finding places that I can go to de-stress has helped a lot. Hiding in a coffee shop for a day really makes me feel better. So does stuffing my face full of chocolate. Haha. The biggest problem with that is it does get a little bit expensive. I mean, yes, most things are cheaper here, but it still takes a toll on my wallet. But hey, it keeps me from killing my house mates!
I actually really love my house mates. But living in a four bedroom house with twelve other girls begins to take it’s toll on you. Especially if you’re a bit of an introvert (which I am) Eventually you hit this point where you don’t want to talk to anyone, you don’t want to see anyone, everything everyone does grates on your nerves... Thus the reason my “social self” has been on strike. That’s when I have to decide between being explosive and being broke. I generally choose broke. I think a month away from everyone will do me good. I’m really looking forward to some new faces.
I think a lot about who I want to be in my life, about who I wanted to be when I was a kid. For career day in seventh grade I dressed up as a writer. I put my hair into a messy bun and tucked a pencil behind my ear. I look at myself today. My hair is in a messy bun, I’ve got headphones tucked into my ears and I have over 40 ideas for novels in a folder on my desktop (all of them on hold until I finish school). In part, I’ve achieved my dream of being a writer. 
Looking at other things I’ve aspired to be, traits I’ve aspired to have, most of them are things you don’t even realize you do until someone else points it out to you. I’ve always wanted to be patient and kind. I’ve prayed that love would ooze out of my very being. I’ve wanted to be that person who reaches out to the outcasts and showed them love. I always wanted to be that girl, who, while she isn’t famous, she touches the life of everyone she meets. She changes people by simply being herself. She pushes people to be better, inspires them to chase their dreams because that’s what she’s doing. 
The other day, I got an email from a friend back home who told me that I’d done just that. By simply being myself I’d inspired him to be more. I’d inspired him to chase his own dreams. One of my housemates, just the other day, told me that I was one of the most loving people she’s ever knows. Past coworkers have told me that I have the most patients they’ve ever seen. I’ve always prayed for these things, but never really thought of myself as having them. I’ve just done what comes naturally and those things, came naturally to me. Turns out, I’ve been the person I wanted to be all along!
I think that, more often than not, we are the person we aspire to be. We look at someone else and say, “Oh they have so much ambition. I wish I was like that.” Or “I wish I was more like them” But when we stop trying to be someone else and just be ourselves, we find that the traits that we envy are inside us and the best way to let them out is to simply do it. Stop saying I wish I was more patient and just start being patient. Stop saying I wish I could do big things with my life and just go do them. Quit waiting around to blossom into who you want to be and start taking an active effort in becoming that person.
Anyways, being that I’m only 20 I know I’ve still got a long way to go. I am far from perfect. But I do really love finding out that, even when I don’t see it, I am well on my way to becoming the person I want to be. Now I just need twenty cats and a collection of large, colorful hats.
I think I’m done now.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

So it’s 8 in the morning and I’m going back to sleep. I’ve only been awake for three hours but it’s been a very eventful three hours. I woke up feeling all cozy and wanting to just turn over and go back to sleep. I checked my clock to find that it was 5:20 am and my alarm hadn’t gone off. I sighed and tried to jump off the top bunk as quietly as I could. I found some scrubs and a cup of water then headed to shift. I walk through the birthroom door and the supervisor says “She’s pushing. Who’s first up?”
“I am.” I say. My eyes aren’t even fully open yet. I put on gloves and head to the cubical where I can hear the woman moaning. As I sit at the end of the bed I talk to the woman laying there. “Ok di (Bisyan for sister) listen to me ok?” She nods. With the next contraction I can see the baby’s head. “Ok. Slowly. Hinai hinai ok?” She listens beautifully.
With each contraction I can see more of the baby’s head. As she gets closer to crowning I can tell that she’s starting to loose control. I support the baby’s head so that it won’t come until I’m ready for it. “Ok, An? Listen. Don’t push ok? Just ‘ha’ like a cough, like an ubo ok? Siggy!” With the next contraction she says ha like I told her, somewhere between a cough and a shout. Every time I could feel her start to loose control I’d remind her, “Ha lang. Just ha.”
With each ha a little more of the baby’s head slipped out and finally, it was all the way out. I quickly checked for a cord wrap. Finding none, I told her, “Ok! Utong, push!” She pushed and I pulled and the baby was out. A beautiful 6 lb 10oz boy. The first Mercy baby of 2011. His name is John Rey. Here’s some pictures!
I just got off Christmas vacation. It was really nice to have a break from all the school work. I would tell you I was super missionary over my break and went to live in the slums and rescue kittens from vindictive slave traders but I didn’t. I went to the beach and stayed at a hotel so I could sleep in the air conditioning for a few days. It was nice to get away from “midwife life” for a little while. I actually slept for 12 hours the first night! Then I woke up, ate breakfast, and took a nap. Then I got up for lunch, went swimming at the beach and took another nap! My mom would be proud.
God knows I needed the sleep though. I haven’t slept that much since I got here. I was well on my way to getting sick and really needed the rest. I threw up on the ferry ride to the beach actually and it wasn’t from sea sickness. So some sleep and then some more sleep, then a nap helped me out a lot. But now I’m back to the daily grind. 
Here’s some cool news! On the 10th I get to go out to the mountain villages (The bukid) to do some medical stuff! We’ll be doing prenatals, giving vacciens and doing health teachings. I’m really exciting. A group went at the beginning of December and they loved it! I’m really looking forward to seeing what Filipino life is like outside of the city.
Other excitement! My mom and grandma are coming to see me in about two weeks! I can’t wait! They’ll get to see me catch a baby and everything! I really miss my family so it will be nice to get to see them!
So that’s about it for now. I’d like to say thank you to all the people who have been sending me boxes and letters! It’s very encouraging. And few things turn a bad or stressful day around like getting mail!
Much love!