Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Tap Tap Adventure

So this next story starts out with a laboring Mama. This part was written to my boss Wendy.
Well boss, I am still up from yesterday. The Mamas kept coming to the clinic we had one mom from last night that did not deliver and was dragging on hour after hour. Her labor was pretty slow about 1 centimeter every 2 hours. I was supposed to be the assistant for this particular birth. She is a brand new midwife just out of school here in Haiti. I had taught her the other day about pelvic rocks and so she decided to kick it up a notch or two and do practically aerobic exercise with this poor laboring Mama. I told her that it would wear the mama out and she would not have energy to push at the end especially as slow as her labor was. So when it came time to push mama had no strength left. She tried for 2 hours to bring that baby down and the midwife was getting very upset at her. I had offered several suggestions like going on hands and knees but since this was the first time mama she was taught that the only safe way is to deliver on her back. Been up all night just like me. So after 2 hours which is highly unusual here in Haiti she was ready to transfer her to the hospital. She decided to do one last ditch effort and asked me to try so I put her on hands and knees and within 3 contractions the baby was moving down. So I had some more rest and then try again and we were close but when I flipped her over on her back the baby did not move any further so at that point the midwife made the call that the moment would be transferred to the hospital and this is where it gets interesting. This mama is only 18 years old. Her mom and grandmother and boyfriend were with her. So they all walked out into the courtyard waiting for a ride. So the mama walked around the front of the courtyard waiting and all the sudden she drops to the ground so I had had gloves with me and so I thought I would just check to see if the baby was indeed coming and the baby was not. It was decided that Claudine would drive them in the tap tap to the hospital. So at the last minute the other midwife asked me to come. Now I don't know if you know what a tap tap is but it is a sort of pickup truck with the back that is exposed and there's two benches so we put one of the mattresses from the cots in the back of the tap tap and we Sat with the mama on the floor and we sat on the sides along with Grandma, auntie and boyfriend.  So here I am filthy dirty, haven't eaten since yesterday and I'm riding in the back of the tap tap holding on for dear life since the back is open. I picked the shirt straw and got the closest to the road. We get up on the road and it's everyman for himself. Claudin is trying to get there as fast as possible and so we are zipping in and out of traffic, and I'm  trying my hardest to not get run into. I'm praying like crazy to not get squashed like a bug when Mama starts pushing again. We have a doppler, gel and 2 pairs of gloves. So the other midwife listens and of course the heart rate is going into the 60s again. She bends down and checks and thinks she feels the head. So she tells me to do a Vaginal check. No problem. I'm literally being thrown around this tap tap doING a Vaginal check hoping we don't stop so sudden that I ram my fingers up this poor girls throat. Now I just want to stop here and say, I'm pretty sure a Vaginal check flying down the road in an open pickup truck without a back is considered an advanced skill in anyone's book! So baby daddy sees me struggling and comes to my side to block me in. What a great move since I almost went flying out the back end and landing on a motorcycle filled with a man and his dead chicken strapped to the back. I finally get braced enough to feel secure in my next step. I do the exam and sure enough there is the head right inside the introitus. So I'm scanning how I'm going to pull the baby up and on to Mama's belly with me braced at either side and what will I use to wrap her. I spy the grandma with a cute little half sweater which would be the perfect size to wrap a newborn baby in flying down the road.  As I am figuring out just how to do this safely i am now confident of my plan and sit and wait for the next contraction. Just then we pull off and into the "hospital" parking lot. I was so close to delivering that baby in the back of the tap tap. Two things ran through my brain during that harrowing ride. Number 1, my husband is going to kill me when he finds out just how i died. And two, my boss has always wanted to deliver a car baby, or a plane baby or an outside baby. Won't she be jealous! 
So, I'm back safely behind the wall with the little man holding the shot gun, as clean as you can get in Haiti and thankful I'm alive to tell the story! They did graciously keep a bowl of the fish head soup since I've not eaten since yesterday. I politely declined. Never a dull moment. 
Off to bed!
Blessings Jill

The story does not end there. What comes next is truly humbling. I promise the post the "rest of the story" tomorrow

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

1 comment:

  1. Jill I was breathless reading your story! You are right, never a dull moment! What an adventure! :)