My sweet and amazing friend Susan, who I met while doing births (she's a doula and is working toward her CPM), is in Africa practicing midwifery for 2 months. She's able to blog every now and then so here's what's been going on with her the last week or so.
hey all,as it turns out, my internet access leaves much to be desired .. what? rural africa? how dare i not be able to blog!! so, you might not be hearing from me as much as i’m sure you’ve been counting on. i will quickly tell you that i have been here for 3 and a half days and have already been to 9 births. dang. also, i’ve missed 4 when i dared to step away from the maternity ward for a night’s sleep. it’s tough, though, because while everyone is friendly towards me there’s a certain loneliness in the wait it out down time that we all know so well. even though there are lots of births happening, there’s very little hands on labor support. the women are tough as nails … do their thing, come in when they’re 6 cm with their own bucket to pee in beside the bed and a piece of black plastic (think trash bag) to lay y on, keep doing their thing on one of the three narrow metal beds in the L&D, push out their babies, endure sutures without local, stand up, get dressed, carry their stuff to the postpartum room, and come back in to get their kid. so much for hand holding. it’s hard for me to get used to. i’m trying to figure out how to be present to these births in an authentic way while also respecting that things are different here. i can’t demand the luxuries and warm fuzzies of chicago home births.
ok, that’s going to be all for now because there’s a line for the computer and there are only so many minutes to go around. my love to all. and thank you for your comments! -sus
Wow! This really puts birth in perspective. Pray for Susan that she stays safe and is able to help these women in any small way.