Two births, two emergency runs, two days and two outcomes..
2:13 Friday morning, after less than 2 hrs of sleep, I wake up to Loveda calling my name, “Jacinda, there is a lady in labor. She is at 8 cm and her contractions are 3-4 minutes apart”. In my sleepy state I voice my confused thoughts wondering if we are going down to clinic. Graciously she brings sense to my confusion and informs me that yes, I had slept through the gate knock, the calling on the radio for Alex, them going out the door, and Alex leaving on the four-wheeler to get a nurse, and he was now waiting in the gazebo to escort me down to clinic to assist Marla and mis Junille with the birth.
When I arrived at clinic Marla confirmed what Loveda said, but didn’t think it would be too terribly long of a wait. Great! I mentally prepared myself for an easy birth, everything going well for mama and baby, and the rest of us climbing back into bed to enjoy some sweet sleep before morning.
It didn’t feel like we were there all that long when the lady’s contractions slowed down. To make a long story shorter, we alternated between trying to sleep in whatever position seemed comfortable at the time, and voicing the random thoughts and questions that come to mind at that time of morning, while the lady paced back and forth to keep her contractions going.
At almost 6:30 mis Junille decided the baby isn’t going to be born after all so we can go home and she will stay there calling us if something changes.
Later in the morning after Doctor arrived he checked her and said nope, the baby can’t be born, we need to transport her to Fon de Blan.
As soon as we could, Alex, Marla and I head out with the lady and her husband.
Several times as we bounced along the trail she called for us to stop, thinking her baby is about to be born, we assured her the doctor said it can’t be born, while to ourselves discussed the possibility of the bouncy trail shifting the baby’s position enough making it likely that we would have a baby born on the trail.
About 45 minutes down the trail she asks us to stop and check on her, saying the baby decended. Marla jumps in the back and sure enough we have a baby coming!
I asked one of the onlookers if she would come help hold the lady. Soon the baby was born, Marla handed it to me telling me to keep it warm.
It started sprinkling so we quick got the mom stable and on our way back before the rain fell. Thankfully it didn’t do anything more than just sprinkle.
We were so happy and thankful everything went well. As we drove back through the market, people were shouting out their congratulations to the parents and praising the Lord the baby was born!
When we got back Marla helped the mom get settled into a bed while I cleaned the baby (and myself after it pooped all over me!). It was a long day, but a good one.
About 4:30 Wednesday afternoon Marla comes back from clinic saying we have a lady in labor that needs to go to Fon de Blan. The baby’s position wasn’t clear, maybe transverse or maybe breech. Again, it was Marla and my turn to go. Clyde was our chauffeur this time. We got a little further than we had only a couple days prior when Marla says “Stop the machine, we have a foot! Jacinda call James.” I call James and he wonders where we are and if we can make it to Villa clinic. We start flying along trying to make it there, but it soon becomes obvious that we won’t be able to. James also reminded us of some phone calls we could make for advise. We sent a desperate call out, praying for an answer. Sure enough she did, and she stuck with us the whole time coaching us and the mom telling us what to do. Everything was going good, baby was coming, slowly, but continually. Then it stopped and the mom was tired, only with over the phone coaching was she able to muster up the strength to keep going, but it had been too long. When the baby was finally born there wasn’t any sign of life. We right away start giving it rescue breaths and Chest compressions. Stopping every now and again to check if we had a pulse or any signs of life. Nothing.
Eventually we had to call it. A beautiful little baby boy, so tiny, yet so perfect.
We cut the cord, gave the baby to the grandma and turned our attention to the mom. Soon the placenta was delivered, the mom was stabilized and we headed back in silence.
Our hearts were sad, but God was there and evidence of his handiwork was all around us. It was a beautiful full moon. A set of tiny little twin baby goats scampered off the trail in front of us. People watched in silence as we passed.
When we got back to clinic we helped the mom get settled into a bed. We found a box for the baby, then held it just a little longer.
The mom and the grandma told us over again “thank you so much”. What did we do? We did all we could for the baby yet it didn’t seem to be enough. Maybe they could see the love of Jesus through us in the way we cared and that is why they said thank you. I hope so.
Written by: Jacinda Eveleth