today is march 13th. all of you if you have read my previous postings/emails are familiar with how the situation has been in different ways. well, there are new and positive developments, and i am starting to have some hope for the work that i am supposed to do here. last week, this MW named Wendy was here, and she helped me alot, and tried to build bridges between me and the 2 Haitian midwife teachers, and just really tried to support and uplift everyone. she just left today; now Nadene and Steve are here--they are the founders of Midwives for Haiti. They totally understand the situation and what has been going on here, and they are very very upset about: the way I was recieved by the other midwives, the way the students are being trained and the apathy and lack of compassion that many of them display, the actual lack of skills and knowledge that they have in the birth room, etc. they really want me here, and they also really want to overhall the program and if needed start from scratch again with the students. also, for all of the same reasons that this other MW had who wanted to start a birth center here, but now isn't, they want to have a birth center in order to have our own turf to actually teach midwifery and provide safe care to the women. to centralize everything. there is a building on the hospital grounds that Wendy and I stumbled upon this week that is perfect; they have meetings this week with the hospital administrators to discuss its use. they have been very kind to me, and very sorry for the hardships of this first month. i am afraid to be too hopeful, because things have already been so hard, and because honestly i lost so much of my hope on that one day of my first day in the hospital when i saw the gang rape birth. the midwife who participated in that birth, in the holding down of that 15 year old girl, she is leaving after april. the other midwife, she seems more receptive to me and i think that we will be able to work together. another piece of this is that in order for me to be able to explain my thoughts to her and why i would do some things differently, i need to have a better command of the language. the language is definetly coming. but it is a process. that will make everything so much easier...well, a little easier.
some recent births...today, i helped 2 MW graduates (from a different class) and a nurse in a birth----nadene and steve were there, they saw that i had to ask them every time to listen to fetal heart tones, or else no one did...many things. but it was a good birth, and there was some good learning.
yesterday, the Cuban OB (there are 2 OB's) asked me to do a birth with a recently graduated general doctor, a woman who want to med school in Cuba and is here for 6 months or so...so, she caught the bb and I helped her, and guided her through perineal support, and she was very sweet and receptive to working with me...things went very well. the placenta took about 10-15 minutes, but she and I both felt that it was not fully seperated for that whole time, and then when it was separated it came...this birth was a good learning experience for the studetns--they were watching...(some of them)...
the day before this, we had a sidewalk birth, and this birth was really uplifting to me because it was the first really spontaneous birth i had seen so far....what happened was that this lady, a 3/2 (3rd timer), was checked by the nurse and was 7cms and was sent to walk...well i ran to get something and came back and she was kneeling on the walkway (which is outside, it goes around the courtyard, which is in the middle of the different sections of the hospital)...anyway she was pushing, and there was no way to move her...she had her bb there, spontaneously, without anyone yelling at her or anything...i was so happy. also, i really liked her, we had started becoming friends from me hanging out there (she stayed thre about 5 days before going into labor and then was induced--which alot of people do...) so, i was so happy to be in her birth. it contained a sliver of the joy that i used to experience with my clients at Maternidad La Luz...which was like a salve to me...a funny thing about this birth was the cleanup...as usual there was no water, anywhere...we had brought some rags and clorox, so here i am, being an example to the students, cleaning, as midwives should, and here i am by myself, scrubbing the trail of blood off the cement, and at the end of this trail was a puddle, with flies on it, and i really kept telling myself, really telling myself that this puddle wasn't my responsibility because it wasn't from this birth, but as i got closer i realized that indeed it was...so luckily this little girl, i think from the woman's family, brought in a little juice bottle, some water, and that really helped my to finish. sho else would have done it? the cleaning lady was mad at us (the american MW's) because now we have the fame of wanting people to birth on the floor, which they hate--and she had said that she wasn't going to clean it up. i chuckled to myself as i cleaned it up, because i was uplifted by the birth, and because it was so radiculous that i had no water or anything to clean up this walkway that had blood and poop and amniotic fluid on it...right where people walk....
so, yes, i am feeling happier than i was, but still with trepidation to get too excited or trust that things will get any easier...i feel that everyone at the hospital is nice, and open to me, including the studetns, and including the doctors...that is good...i feel thankful for this opportunity for learning and growth, however hard it is...it is definetly a priveledge to be here...but, the other reality is that some of this reality is so harsh, and i see abuse that is so unnecessary...there are many facets to it.
what else...we'll see if there can be long-lasting changes made through nadene and steve being here this week...like i said, they are very upset about how their program is going and are ready to start the students over again...and the teachers.
what else...maybe that's all for now...i think i must sound really excited compared to how i have sounded before...i feel...supported, by the organization i am here with. which feels good.
we will see how things go. that's what i keep telling myself.
thank you to all of you for your kind words. i don't always have much time to email so it may take me a little while to write back.