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.

Friday, June 11, 2010

june 11th 2010

So...things are going allright...each day is passing...I am more than halfway through my 6 months here now. Each group of midwives that comes...it's so interesting hearing what they observe about this place, the hospital, the students, the program...everything they see are things that I have already been seeing and thinking about since I arrived in Feb...one of the MW's described this place/town/the overall atmosphere here as "bleak"...that is exactly the same word that came to me to describe the feeling here, a long time ago...there is a detachment that you see in the people...it's hard to understand...someone like me will never fully understand it because we did not grow up under these kind of circumstances...everyone asks me if this detachment may have to do with all of the death that people see...like when moms have their babies, and they just totally check out...is this because so many people have babies that die here? many people have had several babies die. it is very common. yes, maybe that is part of the reason. I'm not an expert on Haitian culture. I don't know fully all of the reasons for this.
Yesterday the day guard at the entrance to the hospital was being really uppity with this woman who was bringing food for a patient there (the families take care of the patients--bathe them, empty their pails that they pee & shit into, bring them food)---this woman had a few mangoes in her hand along with the other food she was bringing. apparantly, bringing mangoes into the hospital is "against the hospital policies". I couldn't believe how rediculous it was. So, mangoes are messy and attract ants, and they are against the rules, but, it is ok that the cleaning ladies in the delivery room are mopping the same bloody stinky water around on the floor, that there are sharps left all around, that there are splatters of blood left on the floor for hours, and dried blood on the beds that never gets fully wiped off, it's ok that there is not enough chlorox to use to clean up...the cleaning ladies bring chlorox in in these tiny juice bottles...just with a little chlorox inside...they have no rags to use to clean up...all of this is ok, but it's against hospital policy to bring mangoes inside? The hospital is ALWAYS out of the most basic supplies, and the familis have to go out and but stuff like IV tubing, antibiotics, IV fluids...all the time...but they are worried about mangoes? The same thing happened yesterday--there was this woman who came in and we were going to make a bed for her in the prepartum room and she had this multicolored blanket...the students said that the hospital wants people to only put white sheets on the beds...oh, so these people who have not enough money for food, and have to buy their medical supplies, they have to buy white sheets to put on their beds? Give me a break!!!
It's ok that there is all of this overt medical negligence...people who are really sick, barely being monitored...but, no mangoes and only white sheets. OK.
Yesterday, Marthonie, she was managing 3 different high risk patients with the students: a woman who had had severe pre-eclampsia, who had birthed the night before (B/P in labor was 240/140), another lady with eclampsia, who had already had 3 episodes of convulsions before arriving, a 38 year old G9 P11 (hx twins and triplets) L 7...also with same B/P, 220/140, and at the same time she was supervising a blood transfusion for someone with a 3.6 hemoglobin. She is really good, she is used to high-risk situations like this. I think that our skills and experience really compliment eachother. If it were possible for me to feel capable of staying here for the next class, I know that we could be a really good team. But...I can't stay here longer. It's not my culture, it's beautiful and special and interesting and I feel so thankful to have come here, but my heart doesn't feel at home here, like it does in some other places, like Mexico...but anyway, yes, I am impressed by Marthonie all the time; I feel like we both are seeing things that eachother know and that we could learn; that's really nice. I am enjoying getting to know her as a friend as well. Sometimes I think that it's hopeless with the students and the grads, but I see growth in Marthonie and myself, and I think that maybe that's the reason I'm here. I don't know. Sometimes I feel more encouraged by the students, and there are certain ones that are more motivated than others, but other times I feel really hopeless for them ever becoming skilled and wise MW's, and I think that some of them don't have the heart for it, it's just a guaranteed job for them...I guess it just is what it is, and maybe it's better than I think...
Part of me would love to stay here and keep working with Marthonie, and really follow through on ideas that would help with our teaching and with the hospital policies...but....no, I can't really see myself staying here.
Right now I am at the UN base here...I have become friends with this guy named Ratna who works here...they have internet...we're eating fried chicken and beer...I don't see the Un guys doing anything useful here for the people, but...maybe they are, who knows. The guys on this base are all Nepalese. They never learn Creole because they barely interact with the Haitians, except for their translators. They all seem like nice individuals though.
There have been steady births, nothing too spectacular...well sometimes there is but I don't always write about stuff in the blog because it's just too much I think for everyone out there who isn't a midwife...
I love you guys! Thanks for keeping up with me through the blog and through email...it helps me to feel connected to all of you...

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