Sunday, June 12, 2011

Awaiting Baby Ariella

The Jones family are awaiting a new addition - Baby Ariella.  After several scans, we are pretty certain this one's a girl, and Hudson and Jude chose the name Ariella, a beautiful name.  Needless to say, we're all pretty excited and have seized the opportunity to throw a party :)
Last weekend, with the help of Kyle's sister who was visiting and 2 very special visitors from World Medical Mission - Mary Elizabeth Jameson and Gail Gambill - we threw a special baby shower for Vanessa.  It was so great to be able to decorate with things from home and give Vanessa a special afternoon.  We even had pink M&M's!  Also, I invited some Kenyan ladies from our women's Bible study.  They don't do baby showers - they have a party for the mom and baby after the birth.  So this was a new experience for them.  They all wanted to know why it was called a "shower" when there was no water involved, and I had to admit that I don't actually know why.  It was so special to have them here and share our different cultural traditions.  One of the most special moments was when they sang a song for Vanessa to celebrate the blessing of her new baby (see video below).  It was a great afternoon enjoyed by all.
As a side note, I also so enjoyed having Mary Elizabeth and Gail here!  They both work at World Medical Mission - Mary Elizabeth with the post-residency program and Gail works in placing short-term physicians on the field.  They were a huge encouragement and we enjoyed a few days of slumber parties :) 

Gail and I were so proud of our diaper cake.  Apparently you're supposed to have 50 diapers at least to make it - I had 20, so we made do :)

It was an explosion of pink!

Me and Vanessa

Ariella's first baby doll, courtesy of Laura

All the ladies!

Me and my Kenyan mom, Michal

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Good Day

Yesterday was a good day.  Sometimes it feels like I see so much heartache that when I have a day like yesterday, it is very refreshing and makes me remember why I love being here and serving the women of this community.
First thing in the morning, a woman came in laboring.  I saw that she had had a C-section with her first baby and the baby had died.  I also noticed that she was very small which is probably why she couldn't deliver normally the first time.  I asked her what had happened with her first, and she said that she had labored for a long time and the baby became distressed and they took her for a C-section, but it was too late - the baby died.  Given her stature and the bad outcome the first time, I told her that I did not think labor was a good idea for her and we should proceed with C-section.  Also, the baby was breech, yet another reason to not risk it.  She quickly agreed, her mother-in-law took some convincing (as per usual).  We took her for C-section (in, by the way, our maternity theatre which is now functional! - see pic below) and delivered a healthy baby boy.  He required some resuscitation, but is now doing wonderfully!

Our wonderful operating theatre, right on maternity.  No more wheeling patients up 3 hills for a C-section!
While the first patient was being prepared for her C-section, I saw another patient for a follow-up visit.  I have been following her the entire pregnancy.  Her first two pregnancies ended with stillbirths - one at 7 months and one at 9 months.  It's hard to know what caused them - records are not available.  However, from what she told me, I thought it was possible that it was due to a clotting disorder of her blood, which would make blood clots more likely and "kill off" the placenta during the pregnancy, leading to death of the baby.  At home, we would send a whole battery of tests, which would cost hundreds of dollars.  First of all, most of these tests are not available here, and second, even if they were, none of my patients would be able to afford them.  So, I did what we often do here, and just empirically treated her with daily aspirin, which thins the blood.  For the rest of the pregnancy, she saw me frequently and we did several ultrasounds, rejoicing each time that we saw the baby was growing well.  Yesterday she was 39 weeks and the baby was doing well.  I suggested we go ahead and induce her labor, since we had a healthy baby and I didn't want to risk anything happening to the baby.  She readily agreed and a mere 3 hours later also delivered a healthy, screaming baby boy.  Her smile said it all.  Praise God for His provisions and for healthy babies!