Tuesday, August 03, 2004

No Gloves

I had just sat in the office at Casa de Nacimiento making snide comments about midwives who don't use gloves. When the others chuckled and said they just had babies come too fast, I smirked that they weren't paying attention to their woman enough to know that baby was coming out. No one commented.

Not an hour later, a woman who had been early laboring along, but was alone without family, so had nowhere else to go to labor, asked for company to the bathroom. I wasn't with anyone else so walked with her to the toilet... talking to her about her labor... and she was sleepily saying she was barely feeling anything. I told her she could totally sleep for awhile more and then if things slowed down more, she could go back home. She thought that was a good idea.

After she peed, we walked back the short distance to her room (the Bear Room for those that know) and then kinda screamed and I looked and saw the baby's head completely out in her chonis ("underwear" in Spanish)!! There was another birth going on, so no one else was around but me and I yanked her chonis down and the baby fell out into my hands! She was stunned and I laughed and hollered for someone to help. A midwife running to the other birth threw me a chux as she dashed off and I wrapped the baby in the chux and then tried to figure out how to get this 4 foot 5 woman up onto the tall bed the Bear Room has... and get her baby between her legs and onto the bed (the bed was waist high for her!)... she was facing the bed, me behind with the baby and she said she was feeling funny. I told her sternly she was going to climb onto the bed (getting on the floor was not a clean or sanitary option) and she would be strong so we could get her baby in her arms. She stood up straighter and climbed up onto the bed (streaking blood and amniotic fluid along the way) and as she lifted her leg, I pushed the baby under it and gave her her baby.

I got the bed set up for her, worried about changing the sheets later, and once she was nursing her baby, she and I had a huge laugh! I couldn't leave to go wash my hands because no one else was around, so used baby wipes, put gloves on, and caught the placenta; all alone.

Oh how the Universe shovels our words right back into our mouths sometimes!

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