March 29, 2011
(I hope that "unbelievable" is spelled right. haha it looks a little bit wrong. haha)
Oh wow. Today was literally one of my craziest days in Peru. I've probably said that about a lot of things, but what happened today really tops all. Let me start at the beginning.
A 17 year old girl came to the clinic this morning around 8. She was already having contractions and was 2 cm dilated. We had known about her before and had planned on having her give birth at the clinic. We are very careful about which births we accept here because of our lack of emergency equipment. She was a big, sturdy girl, so even though it was her first child we felt that she would be ok. The ultrasound that she brought showed that everything was ok with the baby as well. So, it was all good. The girl (we'll call her Maria) was sitting outside and between patients Cecilia would check on her and make sure everything was still going well. Around 2 o'clock her contractions were beginning to be stronger and faster so Lauren and I were timing them. At that point she was having nearly 1 contraction every minute. We had her laying down in the dental room so between contractions we quickly helped her move to the middle room in the clinic to our famous birthing chair. The water still had not broken so Cecilia decided to break it. Normally,when you break the water the liquid that exits is clearish in color. The liquid that exited now was green. That's BAD. Right then we decided that we had to take her to the hospital because the risk of complications was too high to have her deliver in the clinic. Of course, here in Peru there is no such thing as calling an ambulance so I went running out to find a motocar. Steph gathered all of the items we would need and we helped her out to the motocar. Maria, her neighbor, Steph, and I piled into the motocar and sped off (as fast as we could on our terrible road). I think it was the LONGEST motocar ride of my life and I can't even imagine what it was like for Maria. The minutes felt like hours and it seemed like all the traffic was getting in our way. I was praying the entire time that everything would be ok and that this baby would not be born in the motocar. While we were driving Maria, of course, was in extreme amounts of pain seeing as though she was 9 cm dilated and we were driving on the worst road in Peru. When we were about a block away from the hospital the head started coming out. Quickly, I took off my shirt (I had 2 tank tops on) and got ready to deliver this baby in the motocar. Goodness- it still seems so unreal!! Anyway, as we were pulling into the driveway of the hospital I was supporting the head as it came out. It got stuck so I had to reach down and spread her to allow the head to come the rest of the way. Then when it did the cord was wrapped around the neck. I was able to quickly unwrap it and Steph was there to help with the rest of the body. We set the baby on top of mom and started drying him off with my shirt. The crazy thing was that he was crying right when he came out. We hadn't suctioned him or anything obviously, and he was crying! I was so happy! All my fears melted away and I had this assurance that everything was going to be ok. As we were continued to dry him the hospital staff finally came out to help. Someone came over with a clamp and scissors and that's when i realized that the cord had broken on it's own! Also a bad thing. They whisked the baby inside and I helped move Maria over to a stretcher so they could take her inside. After that my gaze fell to Maria's neighbor who had tears streaming down her face. I went over and gave her a hug and told her everything was going to be ok. Then a nurse came out and escorted Steph and I inside to wash our blood covered hands. The baby was crying and he was a bit blue, but he was ok! The only bummer was that they threw my shirt in the biohazard trash. :( That was a little sad, I was going to wash it and keep it for a souvenir. haha It was one of my favorite shirts. Oh well, I guess it was retired to a good cause. The rest of the story I am choosing to leave out to protect Maria's privacy. But I can tell you that both she and the baby are ok and now I can say I delivered a child in a motocar. Unbelievable.