More Stories from Nyabasindu Clinic (September and October 2016)
More Prenatal Stories
I helped a mom 40 weeks pregnant but measuring 31 weeks pregnant and 4 cm smaller than the week before. While the baby’s heart rate sounded fine we were concerned that the baby was having growth restrictions due to maternal age, malnutrition, low amniotic fluid or placental issues. This mom also lived in serious poverty and was unable to afford food for herself. The clinic was able to meet her needs in a very practical way by providing resources for nutritional support for her and her baby. We were able to transfer this mom to a health center to be assessed for fetal growth and amniotic fluid volume.
The following mom was 32 weeks pregnant with a blood pressure of 180/108 and showing symptoms of preeclampsia. We were able to transfer her vuba vuba (quickly!) to a hospital to receive necessary care. A couple weeks later she returned to the clinic to report that she was admitted to a hospital where they discovered that, not only did she have extremely high blood pressure but also very little amniotic fluid. Unfortunately, she was unable to be transferred to a hospital with an available NICU bed to deliver and a few days later they discovered her baby had died.
The next mom had been in a serious motorcycle taxi accident in January where she sustained an open tibia/fibula fracture. Because of the accident she was no longer able to work and had had multiple surgeries and skin grafts on her leg. Even when we saw her she still had to wear a walking cast and major swelling and pain. In reviewing her health history we found that she had had two children but one had died at 2 months of age. She reported that she had taken the child to the hospital for a fever where they gave the baby and injection to lower the fever and sent her home. During the night her child died.
When we assessed this mom we expected her fundal height to show she was about 22 weeks but we found it at a height of 32 weeks, very unusual for these pregnant ladies. I watched as the midwife felt her belly for the baby’s position she found it difficult to tell where the baby’s back and head were. As you may have already guessed, when we Dopplered the fetal heart tones it seemed that we were finding two heart beats. We were able to send that mom for an ultrasound to verify twins! On hearing that she may be pregnant with twins the mom began to cry with anxiety and fear. We sat and prayed with that mom, comforting her and reassure her that our Lord is in control.
In the Thursday, postpartum clinic I met a woman who had found an abandoned infant on the side of road. She heard about the clinic and, although she lived an hour and half away, she traveled there with the baby to have it assessed. Since that time, she and her husband have fostered that baby in their house with the support of the clinic and one of its volunteers. Another Grandmother comes with her grandson. His mother delivered him this summer at a health center. Following the delivery, she had a postpartum hemorrhage but was not transferred to a hospital until 2 hours later. By that time she had passed away leaving her little one motherless. The clinic supports his grandmother and father in raising him by doing his health checkups and providing formula, something the family could not afford on their own.
A couple of weeks ago I joined the midwife as she assessed a laboring client. If you know my love for labor and delivery, you know that I was eager to join in the fun. The client was in active labor and was sent to a nearby hospital to deliver. She delivered a few hours later and the next morning we visited her in the hospital.
To give you an idea of what a good delivery is like in a hospital here, she continued to labor in a room with several other laboring moms with her mom and friend there to support her but when it came time to deliver she was moved into a delivery room with other delivering mommas where she was not allowed to have any support person. After delivery she was moved into a postpartum room. Her postpartum room was the size of our living room with 11 twin size beds and 22 moms and 22 babies. Each couplet shared a bed with another couplet and they were responsible for bringing all their own bedding. What cracked me up about the room is it felt like it was 100 degrees, as stuffy as a mosh pit, but it still had two heaters hanging from the ceiling to keep the moms and babies warm.
Keep these families in prayer, and me (Krystal) that I would be the hands and feet of Christ.