Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I've got the whole my hands

I hope that song is now stuck in your head as it was in mine for the last several hours.

Last week I was in the OB ward when a pregnant lady sauntered in (it's known to happen from time to time). I asked her what was going on and she said that she had a lot of water come out "down there." After this last disaster I decided to make sure that I did things in the right order this time. I took her back to the labor ward to get checked out.

First I checked the fetal heart tones. They were there and they were good. Next I measured the height of the fundus to see about how far along she is. (Time is very relative here, so getting an accurate history of things...such as date of conception...can be difficult). When I measured her, she measured about 24-26 weeks. It was too early. THEN I did a vaginal exam and her cervix wasn't dilated. I decided to admit her, give her some antibiotics and treat her for malaria. My primary reason for admitting her was that I knew she needed bed rest and since she told me she had some other kids at home....I knew that wouldn't happen at home. She asked if she could go home and come back. When I asked the other nurse about that, she said that if she leaves she might not come back, so we need to keep her here. The problem was that she literally had no one with her. Nobody knew where she was! I asked if she knew her husband's phone number and she didn't. I was leaning towards letting her go home...surely she'll come back. But the nurse was adamant and said that if a pregnant woman is missing, they should come look for her at the someone will come. Oh dear.

The next morning I came in and when I asked how she was doing she said that more fluid was leaking out and now she was having some mild contractions. I re checked the fetal heart tones and they were still ok, but lower than the day before. I figured this kiddo was on his/her way out and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

The next day I was working evenings so I came in after the doctor had finished rounds. Apparently they did an ultrasound during the day and thought that the baby was farther along and might have a fighting chance. They gave some medicine to help the lungs mature and a few hours later, out she came. She was a whopping 1.7 kg. Her color was not great and after the last couple days in which I'd lost 3 different premature babies who weighed more than her, I was not hopeful. I put her on oxygen and hoped for the best.

A little while later I walked by the bed and noticed that her dad was just sitting there watching her. We don't see a lot of dad's hanging out at the OB ward so I took advantage of this guys' interest. Since it would be good for her to stay really warm I showed him how to hold her so his body would help keep her warm. He looked really uncomfortable but every time I walked by I tried applauded him and told him he was being a really good dad! All the other women would just laugh and he just smiled. :)

I had been really surprised that this kid was doing as well as she was so when I walked into the ward the next day, I had a feeling of dread. But she was doing awesome! Her mom on the other hand...was looking a little rough. The husband was gone and she had her other daughter with her who was about 2 1/2. At one point in the afternoon the little girl was just crying, crying crying and her mom was staring out the window. When I asked why she was crying she shrugged her shoulders and said "well, she's just crying...." I went over and picked her up even though I knew she'd probably be afraid of me. But when I picked her up she immediately stopped crying and fell asleep.

I wondered about the mom....wondering if she might have a little bit of post-partum depression. It would totally make sense because I couldn't imagine the emotional roller coaster she'd been on over the last few days. Usually when a woman comes to give birth, she comes with her entourage. This woman had no one. I wasn't really sure what I could do to help. Her little girl who had fallen asleep in my arms....smelled really bad so I decided that one thing I could do was help clean her up. I took her up to my house, gave her a bath and changed her clothes. I wasn't sure how her mom would take it but when I came back and her daughter reached for her right away, she got a big smile on her face. Phew. :)

The next day when I came in in the morning, the whole family was there. And baby was still doing great!!! The mom and dad were all smiles. When one of the med students asked what the name was the dad pointed to me and said that I was to choose the name. Precious!! Unfortunately the ambulance was called out and I was gone for a few hours. When I got back they were gone.

I'm so thankful that I get to see success stories like theirs!! I have no idea why this baby made it when I've seen several others who seem like they would have had a better chance not make it....but I "tell God tanki" for this little one! So Tanki!!

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