Many of you have already seen my last prayer request and e-mail if you are apart of the TFBC prayer chain. For those that didn't get it I decided I would also make a blog post as well.
This last week has been one a hard week if not the hardest week of my life. At the begining of the week I had my first Monday prenatal since being in Davao, (we are scheduled for one prenatal day (friday) a week for clinic and then 1 monday prenatal clinic a month) which is where the patients come have an interview and then get their first prenatal exam. I was working in bed 6 with Jenna a 2nd year in bed 5, so that if I had any question I could easily talk to her.
So with my limited Cebuano it was hard to communicate, lots of complications, lots of TT1 injections - tetanus, large UTI's, abnormal labs results, young mothers (14-16), malnurished mothers, abnormal heart sounds and the list goes on and on....
* prenatal story* - one patient that I got to do prenatals on had abnormal heart tones and was taking an antibiotics.... with my limited language skills asking about the antibiotic was easy but understanding why was the hard part. Frustrated I asked Jenna to double check heart tones and ask her again why was she taking an antibiotic, because I couldn't understand why, did she go to the doctor, did a neighbor tell her to take them... the possibilities are endless. However it turned out she had gone to the doctor and the doctor had given then to here, for what reason I am not sure. So since I could move on to the next patient because I needed Jenna to look over my her chart, I decided to look over the chart and just talk with her ask simple questions, was she married, did she have a job, so I got to practice my language skills. In the end it ended up being a mix of cebuano and english because she wanted to practice english with me. Her due date is end of December, and by the end of our conversation she asked if I would be at her birth if I was still in Davao and if I could 'catch' her baby. At this point I wasn't assisting, so i couldn't say I could catch, but I could be present at the birth. yay! In the end the fetal heart rate were still really after Jenna checked again high 180's, so we asked her to go eat and drink some water and come back and see if they would come down into normal range . However at the end of prenatal she didn't come back : ( day! However I did reschedule her in Nov, and I have her number so I can text her the morning she is suposed to come back to the clinic. she will be about 33 weeks next time she comes in, I would love if it you could pray for her and that when we check heart rates again they are within normal.
*spider story* Tuesday morning I got to sleep in yay! 11 am for the first time in a long time, and I had nothing to do until 1pm. The house was almost empty (kayla,me, and two other people sleeping in the air con room) a quiet house. So my first thought was make lunch, go out and sit on the balcony and read my Bible for a while. Not the case, as I reached the stair Kayla stated that we had a spider in our laundry room. It wasn't just the little black jumping house spiders, it was this really weird spider and it was eating a cockroach... I would take the cockroach over a spider.. finally Jenna came to save us : ) Since killing it with a flappy flip flop was impossible. Almost two hours later with the help of a bottle of lysol a plastic container and broom (also thanks to Amber who finally killed it) the spider was dead. So much for lunch, it was now 10 min until class, grab a cucumber and go....
The spider and Jenna with a bottle of lysol. The lysol slowed him down enough so we could squash him!
* Is Verde Outreach *
Every Other Thursday, we go to Is Verde for prenatal outreach, its along the ocean, on the outskirts of Davao. There is a small muslim people group (really poor) that live in Is Verde in which we give care to, so they don't have to travel all the way to mercy for prenatals. Instead we go to them... and then when they are in labor they make the trip to the clinic.
*Night Shift* Thurday - A VERY LONG DAY! I was on outreach 8-12 in the morning, then classes 1-5. I came onto night shift @ 10pm with a cup of tea and some crackers. I think I only had two hours of sleep two 45 min naps. No labor to endorse, it looked like it could be a slow shift. However around 10:40 a young girl came in very distressed, and in active active. Once she got to the bedside we knew that something was wrong. A high fever, Heart tones for the baby 200-210. not good, not good. the baby was stressed and we couldn't ask question because the mother was in and out because of the fever and she was fully... birth cart ready, gloves on... suction machine ready, towel in hand to wrap the baby... Oxygen given to mother... (This birth was going to be my first assist, what do I do? Just listen to the supervisors) Baby was out at 11:01 and within 10 min baby (archy) was transported to DMC.
When we got back to MMC, we found the mother to be doing better, the fever was down within a couple hours. When she finally started talking didn't even know she was in labor , later on that night she told us she came to get a check up on the baby because of the fever.
Then around 4 am we had another birth assist #2. a beautiful birth and a very sweet BB boy!
6 am, end of night shift! Air Con room @ 6:30am, 5 hours of sleep I was back up again @ 11:30 to talk to Hannah a friend I met at Trinity Western. Then lunch and class at 1.
2 hour nap and then Night shift again! Nothing happened on shift until early morning. I slept for a couple hours, did some home work. 4:30 am, two labors came in. At endorsements we had two labors pushing, so I charted for one and around 6:45 we finally did endorements to the next shift. One of each a baby girl and a baby boy! A great way to end the shift!
7 am sleep time! YAY! It was Saturday so I didn't have class, so I slept a good 7 hours in the air con room. I spent the rest of my Saturday at Yellow Hauz coffee shop working on homework from 3-9pm. With the intentions of taking Sunday afternoon off as my day of rest..
However God had a diffrent plan. Sunday 6 am day shift. Around 6:30 before it got busy, Jenna told me about Archy the baby we transport on Thursday night passed away at DMC, and she wanted to ask if I would accompany her for she was going to go to the patients house to do a postpartum three day check on the mother when we got of shift
So below is my account of what went on....
Heidi McCully’s God Story
Edited by Bill Crepeau
After finding out on shift today that the baby I helped deliver passed away, I wasn't sure what to think. At first I was upset, mad at God, this 18year old mother has been though so much, her boyfriend’s family had taken her in, her first child (a product of incest and rape) was with her mother and they had no contact. I knew right when I heard the news that today wasn't going to be my stay at home and rest day like I had planned. The family asked us if we would come to their home to check on the mother rather than forcing her to travel all the way to the clinic.
So at 3:30 we met the boyfriend’s mother and grandmother and jumped onto the Jeepney (a small jeep, brightly colored and converted into a bus) for two rides to the outskirts of town.
I have to love the Filippino people, they just say what they are thinking.... I became the joke of the evening. First I am learning the Cebuano language (2 months of class so far) and I spoke very little but could understand most of the conversations. Jenna, my partner in the delivery and this adventure, has a full year of Cebuano and knows much more than I. The mother knows English but the grandmother knows very little English. I really don't understand what was so funny about this but it was repeated close to 30 times, almost every time we would go into another room or meet someone along the dirt road. Then the conversation went to “how many languages do you know”, that was fun. I ended up speaking Cebuano when I was asked to say hello in Fulfulde. Foma ended up coming out as “mayoo hapon” or good afternoon. Once again I was the talk of the evening. We were way out on the edge of town and these folks never had an American in their home, or rarely in their area.
In another conversation on the Jeepney I was called "tambook", meaning fat or plump! I can't take offense, it is a complement. The mother was talking with Jenna in Cebuano and I could hear that they were talking about me and again, the word “tambook.” Jenna replied, “gwapa sya” (she is pretty). Then as we changed Jeepney routes and I got out the mother helped me down and then grabbed the side of my shirt and says “sexy!” So odd. Later on in the evening I learned she was saying that when she saw me on night shift last Thursday she was saying I was very plump and fat. However now I looked sexy to her and not as fat - but still plump as an American. They do not see things with our eyes, nor do we see with theirs.
Jenna, that was handling the birth, is from Vancouver Island so we were so excited to see a dirt road, pot holes, mud, gardens, lots of trees, and even a small creek. It was like being in the country after spending every moment here in a crowded city setting. It took about 20 minutes to get to the house. We sat outside the house and greeted the neighbors and family members. Around 4:30 the father of the baby showed up saying that he was drinking to try and forget the pain of losing his first born son. He was really emotional, broken and in tears. Please pray the young mother, and her boyfriend. The boyfriend really opened up to us, however the mother didn't say much. After we did the check upon the mother she began to join our conversations, however, you could plainly see the brokenness in her eyes, and that she was trying so hard not to process what was going on. She was guarding her heart. It was really cool to see God work even in this situation and how he placed Jenna and me to minister to this family.
A really cool note: the boyfriend’s brother’s wife is 7 months pregnant and Jenna and I are taking her as a shared continuity patient, she is due in December. We are going to see her for the first MMC prenatal check-up in the morning! When she gives birth I'll be either catching or assisting : )
* update on this, She couldn't get a prenatal done this last Monday because it was not enough notice and I haven't heard when she is scheduled yet. Hopefully she can get in soon since she is 7 month along.
I felt so blessed today,even though I didn't know what to say, I was scared, I was loved in a way I've never experienced before, I was humbled by the graciousness that this family gave to us. They were so welcoming. They were in poverty yet gave so much, they opened their hearts, their home, they didn't see us as white missionaries, they treated us as fellow humans. The family paid for over half the Jeepney rides, made us two meals, and gave us all their plantains from their garden (almost 9 pounds). Even in the distress of losing a child, this family loved unconditionally. They wanted to thank both of us as well as MMC as our passion is to love the poorest of the poor here in Davao. The grandmother took us in as one of her own. “Nanii” (grandmother or elder within the house) is the name in which you give to someone very close and someone who has much wisdom and respect. She has asked us to call her our Nanii. In love she adopted us.
* This morning Wed I woke up to a text message from Nanii Clara, telling us that she loves and hopes all is well... so so sweet!
The grandmother kept thanking us and thanking us that we didn't just come to the Philippines for travel or pleasure, but we wanted to make a difference and that we loved them just as they are. Even in poverty we still love them.
When we finally got back to the dorms at about 9 PM Jenna and I had a little debrief session, which was really amazing, just to discuss what we had seen, what God had shown us.
I've never been so loved before by strangers, I've never been a part of something so special as MMC, I've gotten to see Christ in a whole new way by watching and listening to what people say about MMC.
Today really gave my vision Foma Hope - Hello Hope a new meaning; that God would allow me use midwifery to bring hope to the nations, hope physically to women in need and that I may live alongside women in the cycle of pregnancy and beyond, building relationships in which I may be able to share the hope that I have in Christ.
Thank you again for your prayers.
PS: Please pray, Monday is election day and things are a little crazy right now. The grandmother and mother came back with us to Mercy because it wasn't safe on the outskirts of town. Our Jeepney on the way home was searched, at least all the men in the Jeepney were asked to get out and all bags were searched.
Please continue to pray for this family (that the Lord would open a door for Jenna and I to continue to minister to this family), MMC, the staff at MMC, all of us who are 1st and 2nd years.
miss you all so much! Hugs!