Welcome to my blog!

This blog was created with the intention of sharing my life and midwifery experiences with my community as I branch into international midwifery. I hope to keep people up to date and in touch with me, and with the places and people where I'll be.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

march 4th 2010

Things are going OK. It has been hard so far, different aspects of living and working here. But, I am just hoping that things will get easier and especially as the language comes more. I am learning Creole, it is coming, slowly. The people in this town are friendly. The town is dusty; the rainy season hasn't started yet. There is alot less food and fruit than you would expect. But it is greener than El Paso. The landscape...pretty, small wooden houses...goats and chickens running around....
I walk everywhere I go. I have been going to the hospital with the American midwives who come and volunteer here for a week at a time. I am spending time with people from here and that is how I am learning Creole.
Things at the hospital...are going OK, maybe a little better than before. It is hard to come in and help and teach being new here, and also with the language barrier. And also because what is being taught and what is being modelled by the students is so different than the way I work.
I am trying to feel at ease at the hospital. Apart from the kind of/lack of care there, there are other challenges, such as no supplies and running water. They run out of gloves, clorox, everything. Alot of the supplies the students use are donated by the American midwives who come. Yesterday there were 4 births. Three normal births, one cord presentation that ended in a c section--baby was fine--and also there were 2 babies who were twins, very premature, probably about 30 weeks or less, who we cared for for about 6 hours until the first one died and then the next one died during the night. Atleast this time the parents were able to hold their babies. This was their 4th set of twins to die. They have one living child, who wasn't a twin. I'm sure that all of her twins were always premature. It was sad for them. But this was the first time they had held their babies. It took over an hour for me to get someone to bring an oxygen tank to give the babies oxygen, and then I had to search for tubing, and there was only tubing for one baby, so we had to keep alternating between the babies.
With the lady who had the cord presentation, she had come in and no one was paying attention to her, and we were busy with a birth and with the premature babies, but finally we went over to check on her, after her being there for awhile, we discovered that the cord was there in front of the head, and luckily there was a big bulging bag in front of the head (her water hadn't broken). So I spent the next 2 1/2 hours or so with my hand holding the head up off the cord; we called the Dr; it took him about 1 or 1 1/2 hours to arrive; then there was the issue of her needing to be prepped for the c section, and at this hospital the patients have to buy EVERYTHING that they need, in terms of medicine, so they weren't going to do the c/s until she could buy the antibiotics...so I kept asking how much it was, no one know; finally someone knew more or less, so I gave them the money to get the stuff, and it only ended up being about $15...basically, if there had been no one to but these supplies, she would have just waited and waited...
So, in one way, I feel gratified to be here, and thankful to be seeing what I am seeing, even though alot of it makes me really sad...and in another way I feel like what difference does it make...am I really going to make any kind of positive impact...
Time will tell...I miss all of you...thank you for all of your support...


  1. God Bless YOU! I can only imagine how hard this must be and how trying it is to do your job. May God watch over you and everyone there. What you're doing......it's HUGE, even though it might not seem like it.
    You DO make a difference. I could not do what you do. You are so courageous and so brave. You Reina, are an angel.

  2. hola reina! cuantas dificultades! cuantas carencias! que orgulloso estoy de ti! por tratar de ayudar en lugares asi. seguramente te adaptaras pronto y aprenderas a amar el lugar y las costumbres. mandanos fotos del sitio, de la gente, de todo lo que hay. pienso en ti y te envio muchos abrazos y buenos deseos.

  3. thinking of you reina.... much love

  4. I love you sister... I feel your strength, pain and frustration... And I also feel the HUGE difference you are making in the lives of individuals... and thus, the whole... Know that your willingness to create a space for that woman to know her babies has probably been a huge gift for her healing and grief, not only with these babies... but her 8 babies. You are so brave, you are are blessing... And you saved that babies life... And I most of all admire the genuine humility with which you do not claim any of it.
    I love you so. I hope you feel that where you are, cause I send you warm hugs, laughter, and prayers...
    Hard times are coming, I think for you that is far more clear right now. You are so ready!
    I love you so

  5. Wow, your post brought tears to my eyes. Eres una mujer increible! Suerte, que sigas mejorando las vidas de los que estan alrededor de ti. Is there any way for people to send supplies or is money really what is needed? I would like to make some contribution to your work, I feel pretty powerless from here, but if there is any way I can help, dime. Un abrazote.

  6. Hi Reina!
    You are my inspiration! I am so glad you are there for those women and babies...you are so amazing to have willingly put yourself in that situation of struggle. Those questions of whether you are doing enough and being present to all those horrific and beautiful moments in peoples lives is how to keep living and growing. It's not easy but you are powerful and strong. I love you so much and you along with all those you work with are in my prayers.
    Love, Jessica