Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Have No Scars Upon Your Face

07 Octobre 2010

I. Just. Witnessed. Two Births. Back. To. Back.

The first was a little boy & the second was a strong girl. The woman who was lying in the maternity had the little baby boy, where as the woman who walked for who knows how long & just made it to the CSPS on time had the strong baby girl.

I was terribly frightening and intimidating to hear and see the first woman give birth. Hollering at every contraction. I don't blame her - no anesthetics, no medication, no numbing effect.

The nurse was out making a call out near our "rezou" tree (the only place people get reception in my village)... and the woman started giving birth! The head had already breached by the time she got into the room and put gloves on. *no, I was not in the room all alone with this laboring woman, there was a midwife... or maybe just an older woman who had seen lots of births and was "helping" *

So this makes my point that there doesn't seem to be that much involved in birthin' babies:

Push. Push. Make sure the baby's out. Clamp the cord. Cut the cord. Make sure the baby's breathing. Suck snot/liquid/amniotic fluid from baby's lungs. Weigh baby. Clean. Get afterbirth/placenta out of mama. Clean. Done.

Okay - I know there's more to it...but whatev. Give me 10 years and I'll be there.

By the time the first baby came out and the nurse was sucking out the crap from the mouth - the other woman began to go into labor (if she was not already in labor on her walk over to the CSPS). She was in the hallway of the maternity - the maternity consists of a lobby, "office"/consultation room, storage, birthing room, 2nd consultation room and a recovery room. Notice only one birthing room. So this woman silently laid down and as she was bending down the baby's head breached and that little sucker was coming out!! The midwife was right there, and the nurse practically dropped the other baby (on the cushioned table of course) to tend to the other woman!! Geez. It was intense and wonderful. I didn't want to be in the doctor's side of the birthing, but I had no choice when the woman in the hallway just laid it all down in front of me. Front row seats and I didn't even want or ask for them.

I will say the weirdest thing I saw was when the 2nd woman was all done giving birth and tended to the nurse went back to the baby boy and did a sort of chest thrust/CPR move because he wasn't screaming like the baby girl. I swear she was gonna break the baby's ribcage!! But I suppose everything is still very flexible at that time (more like cartilage than calcified bone) and it can take that kind of force. But it scared me! I guess she did the right thing because the baby started screaming like the girl - & the nurse looked satisfied.

Grossest thing ever: the placenta, afterbirth, sac in which the baby lives within gestation. It's not anything I'd ever seen before and definitely not what I expected to see. For all of you out there who are curious: read on. For those with weak-stomachs or just not interested in the subject: move on.

What it resembled: a huge, thick, dark jellyfish with one long long long tentacle which comes out of the woman's vagina!!!! This alien was dark in color - more than likely from all the blood, but it could vary with skin color? It was really slimy looking and weird. But of course - you can't have a baby without this alien-jellyfish. && the birthing process is not complete without birthing this sac. (Thank's MCAT guide!)

Alas - it was gross and blood was everywhere, along with "ca-ca" and the nurse was pushing on the woman's bellies to assist with the passing of the placenta. Gah.

I loved every minute of it.
Loved it.
And this makes me believe I'm destined for this.
Not exactly birthing babies: but being in that setting.

Blood. Gross Organs. Organs in General. Rubber Gloves.
White Coats.



  1. I love reading your blogs so much. I'm going to need for you to write more like this, describing actual things you witness and experience. I feel like I was in the room with you...and it was awesome. Perhaps this will be your place after all.

  2. I agree, this blog was excellent. I loved the description of the afterbirth. The placenta is very gross. I've seen many many pictures. Ewwww. I hope you're destined for this. We should race. You always do even better when you're competetive about it!