Thursday, November 17, 2011


Before we moved to the Philippines and I began volunteering at Mercy Maternity Center, I had the privilege of being a birth doula and attending four births, three of whom were friends of mine.  Each of the births were different but all went well with good outcomes.  In the three months that I have been at the clinic I have seen 24 births and not all have been as smooth and easy as the ones I first attended.

I have come to realize that birth is not always neat and tidy with good outcomes.  Most of the time babies are born healthy, and crying and all is well with both them and the mom, however sometimes it's not so good.  I have seen a woman who labored so beautifully and delivered a healthy baby boy only to be faced with retained placental membranes and have to be transported to the hospital while her baby boy stayed with us until his bantay (the mom's "watcher" or labor support) was able to take him to see her later on.  There was another mama who again labored well but delivered a very blue baby boy due to thick meconium aspiration and this time it was him to had to be transported to the hospital while his mama stayed with us. There was a third woman who labored long and hard and the baby ended up with a shoulder dystocia (the head is born but the body is firmly stuck) that lasted over two minutes.  Thankfully in the end each of these babies and their mamas were okay, but it was pretty scary when everything was going on.  That's when the adrenaline is pumping like crazy, the intense praying is happening and the thoughts of "please God don't let this baby die" or "come on baby just breathe" are racing through your mind.
I am so thankful that during all of the craziness we have amazing midwives, who although faced with intense pressure, are able to stay calm and make wise decisions for both the moms and the babies in each situation.

As scary and intense as birth can be, I'm always amazed and in awe at how God created life and the miracle that it really truly is.


"Doula-ing" this woman through her contractions

This little one scared us by being blue and floppy, but thankfully came around

Helping this woman through labor
The power team with our shoulder dystocia baby

The mama, bata (baby), bantay (watcher), lola (grandma) and the power team!

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