Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What a difference a day makes!

Today was a busy day in the Port Villa Central Hospital Maternity Ward. 4 babies born in the morning before we arrived at 7, and then 2 more before 10:30. Sunita was assisting Sister Leitangi (the head midwife) with one delivery, when the G6P5 (sixth time mom for the non-midwives), who had been laboring in the same room (separated by a curtain) started to push. Kat jumped in and delivered the baby (a six minute pushing stage) who had such a tight cord that it needed to be cut on the perineum. Caitlin took care of the baby, who needed a little resuscitation to come around (some stimulation, a few PPV breaths and a little time in the “headbox” – a hard plastic box that goes around the babies head and allows for the administration of supplemental oxygen). Both moms and babies were happily breastfeeding within the hour and we were all so happy to have been a part of the group effort.

We seem to be catching on quickly – when not doing deliveries we help to assess the moms in labor, do the newborn exams, help with postpartum discharge, follow midwives around, practice our Bislama and work on the mounds of paperwork that goes along with midwifery everywhere. We must be doing something right – Sister Leitangi got a phone call from one of the OBs requesting she send one of her medical students to help with a procedure. She firmly denied this request stating “midwifery student blong me.” We agree and are totally happy sticking with the midwives.

Jetlag-wise we are doing pretty well. Vanuatu is 18 hours ahead of Seattle. Still getting really sleepy by about 8:00 at night – but this could be due to the fact that we are walking a few miles back and forth to the hospital and the market, working ten-hour days in the heat and humidity and coming home to Sunita’s hard core yoga sessions. Haven’t yet got to the beach or the kava bar – but we have big plans for the weekend. . . .
Ps – We are taking awesome pictures, but they take forever to load. Planning to hit up an faster internet cafĂ© this weekend and we will post a bunch.

Love to all!!!!


Soul Voyager said...

Bravo midwives ! Bravo ! This sounds so wonderful, even to a non-midwife like myself ! And copious amounts of fresh fruit to boot !

Janet Raasch said...

Caitlin and all -- Sounds like you are having a life-changing experience in Vanuatu. Of course, that is exactly what you expected. We have sent to link to everyone we know! Love, Caitlin's Mom and Dad in Denver.

Anonymous said...

I just love how Sister Leitangi catches babies. She does this 4 finger technique that is just so smooth. Textbook. And she never gets messy!