Friday, March 4, 2011

A beautiful sound

I think one of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard is that of a brand new baby's cry. Every time a catch a baby, assist at a birth, or simply sit in the admitting area of the clinic, I anxiously await that beautiful sound. There is nothing in this world that compares with hearing the first sound that the baby makes, letting us know that he is alive and well.
It is an especially wonderful sound after a hard birth or, as was the case the other day, a time of trying to assist the baby to breath.
My roommate was leaving to go back to the States for a few weeks that day. The night before, one of her continuity patients came to the clinic in labor. Kayla stayed up with her all night labor watching. She began getting more active late that morning. I wasn't able to be at the birth because I was on for prenatals, but the room where we do prenatals is just next to the birth room, so I was able to keep up on what was happening. She'd begun to bleed some before the baby was out, so the midwife who runs the clinic here went to help with the birth. The mama was fine, but had a pretty hard birth, and when the baby finally came out he was limp and not crying. Georgia did PPV for nine long, excruciating minutes, with all the midwives in the room, and the ones not there, and the mom all praying and begging the baby to cry.
I peaked my head in at one point and it was about all I could take. I don't think I've ever wanted anything as bad as I wanted to hear that baby cry! Those nine minuets felt like an eternity! But finally, that beautiful little boy began to cry, and with it came a great sigh of relief from all present, knowing that he was breathing on his own. He ended up being transported to the hospital later that night because he was still struggling with breathing a bit and there had been pretty thick mec. When two of the girls went to visit him at the hospital the next day he was on IV antibiotics, but seemed to be doing ok.
It's scary to think that if that baby had been born at home instead of here with trained midwives he probably wouldn't have made it. It makes me so anxious to finish my training and head back to India. In Uttarakhand state the maternal mortality rate is 440 for every 100,000 births and the infant mortality rate is 42 per 1,000 live births. Both of these are pretty shockingly high rates, and many of these deaths happen at home or in the field with no, or an ill trained, birth attendant. My hope is to reach women and their families with the love of Jesus through providing care during the antepartum, birth and postpartum periods of a woman's life.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. :)

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