This well-written piece came from my classmate, Tara Shelby. She is in Vanuatu helping deliver babies into the world. She will be graduating from Bastyr University as a midwife and naturopathic physician in June. She begins:
Hello! I’m here in the city of Port Vila, island of Efate in the country of Vanuatu!
I started to write journal entries to Justin (my husband) and decided that I should just edit out the lovey-dovey parts and share them with you all. They are unedited, rough glimpses into my thoughts as I process this madness and beauty that is called volunteering in a 3rd world hospital…
Dr. Morgan Martin ND, LM- dean of the naturopathic midwifery program at school-she’s here to do a site evaluation- she’ll only be here with us for 1 week.
Dr. Molly Gray ND, LM- very close friend I’ve been training with for the past 2 years. She just graduated from med school!
Sister Leitagni- the head nurse and midwife at Port Vila Hospital. She has been running the maternity ward here for 30 years and works 8 hour shifts, 6 days a week at least!
When we got off the plane the weather was perfect- Partly sunny, nice cool breeze, low humidity. By dinner time it was colder and more humid. It hasn’t stopped pouring since then.
The hospital is an 8 minute walk up the road through an extremely poor shanty-town. The people shy away from us and all the women wear moomoo’s. Tomorrow morning we show up for the 7am rotation. Who knows what’s going to happen?
It gets dark at 6 pm and light at 6am- Gecos run around on the roof all morning, and I often enjoy the sounds they make. The humidity is starting to get to me. I think I might need a dip in the pool or lagoon despite the pouring rain
Well, our first day did not go exactly as planned. We were totally refreshed, well nourished and very excited. We had slept at least 10 hrs a night for the previous 2 nights, took a nap every day, read, ate delicious veggies from the market and of course exercised.
Monday morning came and we woke up at 5:30 am to take our sweet time getting ready. Considering it gets dark at 5:15pm and we struggled to stay awake till 7:30pm we figured we’d have plenty of rest. We looked perfect, all our gear, all our books… perfectly zen young doctors. It had even stopped raining long enough for us to climb up the big hill to the hospital. We walked down to the maternity ward and the door was locked. We knock and within seconds we hear cheering and we turn to see an elder black women in a white shirt and black skirt with flip flops heading toward us. “which one is Molly” she said with a pigeon accent. “Me, Molly smiled with a big southern grin”- “Oh, welcome” the women roared and hugged us both. It was the head MW named Sister Leitagni. Apparently they had fallen in love with Molly Wilson the last student to work her in July. She giggled and took us sweaty girls from all the humidity and walk up the hill onto the ward. It was pretty quiet and exactly as how I had imagined. The rooms felt dirty with scuffs and brown spots on the walls, the tile floor was chipping every few tiles. Every chair had the foam coming out and the beds were falling apart. The most unbelievable part was the sheets on those beds- barely there worn almost through sheer remnants of what use to be cloth. The midwives were all very friendly, short stature, huge fro’s, and always giving us a welcoming smile. Before long it was rounds with the Dr.’s.
The head man seemed to be Dr. Sala- a Vatu man with a witty sense of humor and quick to his toes. He quickly grabbed Molly on the first patient and asked her to assess. Molly was their instant favorite because of her name and their deep love of Molly Wilson. Dr. Gray knew bounds more then their Vatu resident on the OB ward, and I felt totally empowered knowing tons more then the poor resident who seemed to know nothing. Within a few patients he called out to me, “Tara, is this good?”- he pointed to a young woman breastfeeding her baby- the child was suckeling just on the nipple- “No Dr.”, I firmly but gently responded- “Then what should she do?” Somehow out of the bag of bullshit I managed to pick out the right Bislama words to tell the women to put “plenty of titi in mous”- I switched around her hands and mimed for her to wait till the baby opened his mouth completely then pop the baby on to the areolar. Dr. Sala smiled and said “very good Dr. Tara”. Within a few minutes 3 other medical students from England arrived- They looked shell shocked and weren’t trying to speak with the locals much. They chatted amongst themselves and every time a MW would do something they would rush in with their stethoscopes. They were the same year as me, but knew nothing about OB GYN. They all said they had done a few deliveries but I knew what that meant. Watching a staff of people in a London hospital catch a baby 1 or 2 x, was nothing compared to my 50 homebirths. Molly and I ran around a bit helping the MW’s every where we could- folding gauze, fill out paper work and giggle while asking questions. They knew and loved all of the students that had come before us and it was fun to see their eyes light up when we said their names. It was the first time in a while I felt proud of Bastyr instead of having to explain what a naturopath was… In fact, I knew that the women that had worked here before me had provided some of the best care they had ever seen and I was honored to be a part of that lineage.
Dr. Sala had discharged about 9 women from the ward with their babies so we had to do final newborn exams, TB vaccinations and discharge the women. The other med students had no idea what the standard newborn exams were like, but Molly and I were well-rehearsed in them. Sister Leitagni let us go ahead and do our own exams while the other students got to listen to the babies hearts and that was it. There was only 1 woman in early labor. Within an hour of standing around the med students took off and Molly and I were invited to have lunch with the MW’s. We giggled a lot and ate some kind of fish soup with rice ( I think.) We shared Lipton tea bags and sat around drinking tea, the ward was extremely quiet. I began to feel ill and reluctantly went home to rest.
When I woke up Molly Gray still wasn’t home so I got all dressed up and heading up to the ward, sure that she had already delivered 10 babies. As I got to the top of the hill I saw Dr. Gray walking down. She took one look at me and started to tear up. Oh no, I thought, already a still born or a maternal death… ?… She lowered her head and said “look”- I looked down with her and said- “What, you scuffed your shoes?” “ No, my head”- I then realized that the Dr.’s already strawberry blond hair had a large dark red section- “I am so embarrassed- I passed out during a D & C”. Apparently because the ward was so quiet, she went in on a procedure where they stick a vacuum-like machine into the uterus and scrape off the lining of the uterus. Molly explained how the girl was no more then 15 years old and that they kept sticking her with a needle as they were trying to place an IV. Molly was upset by their treatment of her and although she was assisting by holding the women’s cervix open with a clamp, she started to get woozy. The women was under by this point but Molly hated seeing the way they were doing the D & C, tearing her vagina as they prodded. She said she turned around towards one of the Dr.’s to ask for relief in holding the clamp and… next thing she knew she was covered in blood and her head really hurt. We hugged on the street and I decided to accompany her home as I should have been home anyway since I felt so poorly. We laughed, made fun of ourselves and got ready to order in food and borrow a DVD from the housing office.
Within moments Morgan and her husband Michael walked in. She was glad to see us and very sweet. We told her all about our first day. All we could summarize was-2 women down (us), no babies. She was kind and her husband was great.
Molly made breakfast and when I awoke she as gone… I couldn’t help but chronicle the last 24hours and then make my way up to the hospital. There are really no actual shifts for us. The MW’s rotate every 8 hours, but we can come and go as we please. We show respect by being there for an 8 hour shift, but if it gets crazy outside of those 8 hrs they know they can call us.
Molly and I went back to the hospital and it was still quiet. Just then Morgan came in and met the head MW, Sister Leitagni. She brought up the $ I had raised through donations from friends and family. We went through the ward and went over everything they would have on their wish list.… it is amazing… truly… what they make do with at a birth. It is hard for me to believe how much we waste at home. We went out and immediately bought 80 hand towels and hand soap. Nope, there is no soap nor towels to wash or dry your hands with… it becomes the glove game of not using too many and not getting dirty.
After hunting for supplies I went home, ready to pass out when the walkie talkie we had left with the MW’s rang out and we heard… “Molly 2,” “Molly 2” They started calling her “Molly fall down” after yesterday but have now started up with “Molly 2” after the last Molly- We headed up the steep hill to the hospital handing out little bouncy balls to the kids on the way up the street. Once there we asked for the head MW to please lead us in a birth so we could see their routine. It was simple and fast. The mom had NO bleeding, and one see through sheet under her. The baby came out just fine and at no point did we do fetal heart tones or blood pressures, temperatures on mom… NOTHING… we just chilled out in the delivery room and caught the baby. Then the MW sutured her up like it was no big deal and we were done. Her suturing was very much like every day sewing. In the states we contemplate stitches, approximating tissues and work our very best to make the best looking, least painful cosmetic and durable choices. Here the sister just closed up the hole and moved on. She stitched right through the skin, something we were taught never to do.
After when Molly and I went to transfer her and the baby to her bed in the postpartumward we asked the mom “nam blong babe”- she shrugged and said “no nam”. Then she looked up at Molly standing right in front of her and said “Yu nam?” Molly answered… “Molly” the women smiled and said “Nam me babe is Molly”- that was it… baby Molly was born on 4:15pm Tuesday 8/29/06. Then I leaned forward to wheel the mom to the postpartum ward and reached over to tell her that baby Molly was beautiful when she looked at me and said “yu name”- I answered “Tara” to which she responded “name me babe is Molly Tara”. So there you have it! Our first delivery in Vanuatu and they named her after us~~ How exciting!
The other funny thing was that when she was pushing, she reached around my back and literally grabbed my right butt cheek and squeezed it hard with her full hand. No one noticed but I thought it was hysterical. I didn’t mind at all and was glad to finally be of some use.
We walked up the hill to the hospital giving out little bouncy balls and blowing bubbles with the kids in the poor village on the way there. When we got into the ward there had been another 3 babies since we had left and I walked into the delivery room to see another women pushing out her placenta. We hung around, did rounds with the Dr.’s and chatted with the MW’s.
I had to go sit outside for a bit after feeling like I was huffing too many toxic chemicals. In the mornings they clean the ward with some of the most toxic smelling cleaner I have ever experienced. It makes me feel light-headed. So I grabbed my book and sat in the sun outside the ward. A little while later we checked in a mom who was in labor. I knew she would have her baby sooner then later and sure enough she did. I told Molly she could have this one…she did a great job with the delivery and it wasn’t exactly easy either. There was a tight cord around that baby’s neck and she literally had to deliver the baby through it then unwrap it. They suctioned the baby on the table, I gave the shot of pitocin and the little boy was born. Molly then injected the mom with some lidocane and sutured her up. It was Molly’s first time doing so. At first she remarked “I don’t think she needs any stiches.” To which the Sister Leitagni made a face and we all knew she did. Molly used the gauze to wipe away a clot then made a face and said- “One small broke, I so-um-up”. I prepared everything for Molly and she just went for it. Morgan was hanging over our shoulders and gave useful feedback and advice. Having the Dean of your program standing there when you do your first suturing job can be a bit intimidating, but Morgan made it very comfortable and reassuring. Molly finished up and it looked great.
Things got slow again so we headed to town for lunch. I was feeling yucky again and didn’t want to smell those chemicals anymore.
WOW…today was an adventure. Once we got to the ward the craziness began. There were 2 British medical students with 1 young woman in one of the delivery rooms. They had no idea what to do so I stepped in and assessed her. Apparently in Australia and England you graduate from high school then go to medical school. Hello, I was working next to a 21 year old-almost Dr. who knew nothing. I got suited up to catch the baby. This consists of putting on a plastic tattered gown with long sleeves that ties in the back. Sterile gloves (of course expired), and pulling the “bundle” as they call it over to the delivery table. The bundle is a packaged and supposedly sterilized wrapped group of dishes, tools, gauze and a cloth. You pour some antiseptic solution over a few pieces of home-made cotton balls and wipe the women’s legs + outside of her vagina with them.. As we stand there awaiting the delivery the doors bang open and closed because of the windows being open and although it’s loud you know there will soon be a breeze. The table the women delivers on is a 1950’s OB table. They cover it with what was once a sheet or shower curtain that is now mostly see through. Then they put a “macintosh” under where her butt would be. It’s like a piece of thin rubber half the thickness of a mouse pad. Then another sheet-like remnant on top with a chuck cut in half just under her butt. The winds started blowing and the humidity quickly rose as I knew one of the downpours was coming. We stood there in the darkened room and held her hand and told her she was doing great and to take deep breaths. “ Yu pulem one good wind” “slakem yu”- relax your muscles. The delivery went fine, no trouble getting the baby out, but when she arrived she failed to breath or grimace and was a dark shade of blue. We laid her down on the end of the bed, started talking to her, rubbing her vigorously to wake up, but she just wouldn’t come around. She was still attached to the cord so I knew she was getting some O2 but her heart rate was 60 bts/min. Normal is 120-160bts/min. Not good- Morgan handed me the ambu-bag and I placed it over her mouth and tried to get her chest to rise. I was shaky with the seal over her tiny blue face, I couldn’t see her chest rising and her heart rate remained low. Finally I was able to position her head so that I was getting air into her airway and I could tell her chest was rising. I counted and breathed for her while Molly held the stethascope on her chest and gave me heart rates. We started rubbing her like crazy- wake up child, wake up… I was just about to start chest compressions when she opened her eyes and gave me what I thought might have been the “doll eyes” look- There are clearly 2 open eyes, but no spirit in sight… it’s the scariest look I’ve ever received. Her heart rate was picking up but still no breathing, chest compressions shouldn’t be started until the HR drops below 60 and they were at about 110 now. I kept breathing O2 into her when finally she flexed her arm, started to cough and came around. It had been the longest 6 minutes of breathing for this baby … I was ready to have someone breathe for me. I turned to mom to say she is fine when I almost got hit in the face with a placenta promptly arriving. Morgan took the baby over to the baby table and warmed her up. I grabbed the placenta and started to assess for vaginal damage. There was a lot. It was a first time mom and the laceration went all the way down to her sphincter superficially. Sweat was now dripping off my face onto the table and I looked up to see Molly swipe my face with a piece of gauze- god I love that girl! She then handed me the lidocaine, suture and off I went. Sticking a long curved needle into her what looked to me like war-torn vagina was not what I wanted to do at that very moment. I’m not sure if I took a breath or what my face looked like, but I tried to keep talking to the mom in a reassuring tone telling her that her baby girl was very beautiful and that she had done such a great job! I somehow did something that sort-of seemed to close most of the wounds and just couldn’t take the obvious pain she was in with every stitch. What was wrong with this lidocaine? We had used the hospital’s at this point and the suture was thicker than I was used to. I finally ended it and the patient and beautiful mom gave me a large smile and against her dark skin and hair her teeth gleemed a bright perfect white. She was 23 years old and had been so strong. I wondered if she had a husband, where she lived and gave her the little girl who had pinked up nicely.
The mom’s have to bring their own blankets + towels for the baby, themselves, their own maxi pads, toilet paper and almost everything else. They are provided a bed, food + water 3x/day and basic care. She had 30 minutes to lay there and breast feed their babies. In the US we struggle with our heady moms trying to help them to breastfeed and give them the confidence to do so. Here, the moms put the boob in the babies’ mouth and that’s that. I asked her for her kotex “maxi pads” and put them back in the panties that she had worn all through her labor.. Then she simply pulled down her dress and got off the table. She sat in the wheelchair I had brought into the room and put her baby in her lap so we could take a picture. I asked her what her baby’s name was. She replied “Tara”. What do you say to that? Here I had barely brought her child to life, did a beginners job on suturing and she named her baby after me! I guess the baby was somewhat fitting considering that she was stubborn, blue and hard to get to come around. I knew at least we had something in common. I wheeled them down the hall and put them into the 2 sheet bed for sleep. Her family arrived with a blanket, hair brush and thanked me over and over. I felt strangely proud, wanted to cry and throw up all in one. I had soaked through my scrubs with sweat and finally it had begun to pour. I splashed my face with some water and quickly headed into the other delivery room to help Molly with the next delivery.
She was in the plastic robe and sweat started dripping off her face. I looked around the room. The midwives are full of life and joy despite the conditions. They make no money, work 8 hr shifts 6 days a week and treat each women with love and respect. This new mom was grabbing onto the MW’s afro pulling her entire head into the mom’s. OUCH- but the MW smiled up at me even though she was missing her front two teeth then stuck her tongue out at me and giggled. This MW’s name is Annie and I love her! The mom was also a primip (1st timer) and was almost done pushing her baby out. It’s remarkable, you hardly see or hear them labor till their fully dilated then they just push their babies out within a ½ hr. Unreal. Molly caught the baby no problem and sure enough this one was screaming like a bandit on the way out. Ahhhhh…. Thank you goddess! She had torn a bit and this time I had grabbed our lidocaine and suture. Once Molly had finished injecting her I could tell it was much more effective then my use of their lidocaine. We used our suture this time and molly started to sew her up. Sweat dripping off her brow and trying to be as fast as possible. In all the chaos Molly hadn’t realized that she didn’t have enough suture left to tie a knot, so she called over another MW who did another anchor stitch and tied them off together. Before it was finished I got called into the other delivery room to check someone that wanted to push- I got her on the table but she was only 6cm dilated. When I told her she was not very happy. I asked her to get off the table and walk about. As I was doing so I got called back into the other room because another mom was fully dilated and pushing her baby out… OK, I took a deep breath and walked back into what they call “Theatre 1”. She was a beautiful young native. Perfect teeth, beautifully braided hair and the sweetest smile. She kept saying that she was too tight… “too tight” I assured her that she wasn’t and that she’d be fine. Baby took a long time to come… almost an hour and a half of pushing which is pretty much not allowed but I would have fought for this one. It takes many first time mom’s 2-3 hrs to push out their babies in the US and we don’t even bat an eye. No way was I letting them take her to a C/S because she pushed past 30 minutes. The MW’s kept eyeing me and I firmly responded, “ She will do it.” I wanted her to change positions, squat, turn on her side, but it is not encouraged here. Finally I found a position on her back with her legs hiked all the way up that seemed to help her curl her weight around the baby. Here he came… thank you again goddess. Oh and he screamed and flexed her arms + legs, showed me a startle reflex and I was so happy. But she had torn too… and it didn’t look so good. I was going to have to stitch her muscles back together and then the floor of the vagina followed by getting the pieces of skin to approximate. I was so tired but I pulled it together to just get it done. I filled her with anesthetic so that she could hardly feel anything, and I made sure it was from my stash of meds. It seemed to take me forever to get all those holes closed and no matter what it’s uncomfortable for the mom. Morgan looked over my shoulder a few times and I appreciated the feedback. It’s also very uncomfortable for me as I hunch over her leg from her right side and suture inside her. When I as finished I started to stand when my dear friend Molly came up behind me to rub my back as I stood up… OHhhhhhh that felt good. This mom’s husband was studying in New Caldoneia. He was getting a Masters in geography and history. She spoke English well and I really liked her. She kept apologizing to me and I would stop her and say ‘there is nothing you should be apologizing for!” I handed her the little boy, took a picture and took her down to postpartum.
Alright people… hours had gone by and I needed to pee, get out of these soaked through 3x scrubs and remind myself that I was still a human. I had to strip the bed and scrub the bloody sheets in the back. We have to scrub out as much blood as we can than throw it in the bloody pile. Then we dump the placenta’s in the placenta bin which remains open and ½ full most times, followed by wiping down the table with more antiseptic that stinks! I pulled out 2 more what were once fabric shower curtains and placed them over the bed. Time out please… time out… hello, remember me Tara, you were feeling really sick yesterday… go drink some water, eat something it’s been many, many hours. We had some security guards walk us home around 11:30pm and I felt great. Steep learning curve but I was doing it.
Well, another day just bit the dust as somehow I ended up laying in that pile of dust. At 2:45 I headed out the door for another shift at the hospital. When I arrived there was a not so friendly MW (can’t remember her name) there. She looked less then pleased to see me. Whatever, I offered her cookies that I had brought and then asked if there was anything I could do to help. She said there as nothing. Of course I had forgotten to bring my book so I just sat there looking through my MW notebook, reviewing all kinds of things. Molly showed up soon after that followed by Morgan. My foot had started to bother me from what I had originally assumed was from a little sore from wearing my chacos for the first time in a long while. I walked out of the “sister’s “ room- (a hang out for all the MW’s) with a black and white TV and food sprinkled with ants to see Morgan and Dr. Sala chatting. I heard Morgan say, “it would be a great opportunity for our students.” Dr. Sala nodded his head and said sure turning to me. What? What had Morgan just got me into? “Let’s go Tara, but no falling down.” He said- Going? Where? And so I humbly followed him into the operating theatre. I had to change my scrubs into “sterile” scrubs. Yeh- right! The changing room was filthy… the cloth mask I wore over my face had a little homemade patch sewn into it so it could stay in circulation. The operating theatre was a few rooms all completely open to each other with no doors. The operating room was the same kind of worn except with a good light over the dilapidated table. I walked in to see a young woman with her arms stretched out and tied down, eyes wide open with O2 mask on her face laid out on the table. Her legs were suspended wide open by these 2 make-shift slings. Dr. Erolyn the frisky resident was trying to open her cervix with a variety of tools. It was a cutterage procedure where they go in and sweep out the uterus with a spoon like device. Dr. Erolyn finished it up and then it was time for the next patient. The anesthesiologist looked about 18 years of age but seemed busy and confident in her choices. They messed with the table a bit then put her on a gurney and wheeled her in to the hallway “recovery ward”- only to bring in the next woman. She was a very thin lady, looking very frightened. No one seemed to speak to her except the anesthesiologist a little. Everyone was joking and laughing about completely ignoring the poor women who must have been freaking out on the table. Before I knew it her eyes were rolling in the back of her head and then Dr. Sala went over to open her up. She had an ectopic pregnancy and needed to have that section of fallopian tube removed. It took him all of 1 minute to open her, move around some intestines and pull out the obviously swollen fallopian tube. He clamped it, cut it and sewed it shut. When he tossed the engorged tube into the kidney pan I took a moment to say goodbye to that child who was no bigger then my thumb… He stitched her up quickly and no matter how sterile the environment supposedly was… I still felt dirty. It’s confusing to be in the operating room here. I’m not sure which part of my consciousness is dominating my awareness. Am I protecting myself by trying to make excuses that these conditions are OK for them because it’s all they know? What’s making me feel so dirty? There is a clear respect for the circle of life here. Some live, some die… it’s all just a part of life. In the states that is not acceptable. We do not respect death. It’s not OK to loose a mom or baby. Are the harsh conditions and poverty attached to that understanding and belief in the circle of life, or could they somehow be detached for us to accept parts of that into over-westernized culture. I kept having flashes of the university of Washington medical center. What it’s like for our mom’s to experience the hospital. What the operating room looks like from all the cesarean sections I have seen as well as the perspective of being there on the table. I see less compassion here then at home. The Dr.’s don’t address the patients here, they ignore them and continue on with their conversations. I feel as though I’m struggling to make excuses for this hospital. I know there are more like this than like those I see in the US, but how does one live with that. Where do I hold that in my heart? It’s as though they know we come from somewhere so much better, and yet they love us just for having a different experience. They accept the lives they were given to live here and they are not hungry to change it. If it happened, great… but otherwise they need to just keep living with what they’ve got.
I have these brief notions that I should donate my life to getting the wealthy to help me re-create these hospitals for these women and children. Am I bringing my privileged western idealism here and trying to change them while blindly forgetting that they have been surviving longer than us westerners? I cringe at the thought of people coming here to introduce religion to these nature loving people. They went from simple yet intricate native villages and living off the land to poverty-stricken villages trying to replicate the western dream.. They are all being tricked into believing that wonder bread and cheap chocolate bars are better then the native greens and fish. Then everyone has diabetes and they can’t afford insulin so…? It’s a division between two worlds- the modern and the old ways. It’s got to be one or the other and split down the middle just isn’t working.
I suppose the hospital is actually effective, people are living and being given needed medicine and yet at the same time, people are dying due to infections and making do with little! This place is challenging, and I’m giving everything I got to make it Ok so that I do the work that only my hands can offer while I am here. But, I am forever changed. Once I return to the bubble I live in, I will promise to never forget what the women of Vanuatu live in every day.
Before we knew it we had a mom in the delivery room. It was Molly’s turn to catch. This young mom had already given birth to 4 other babies. All boys and when I asked her what she thought she was going to have she insisted it be a girl. The delivery was uncomplicated and Joeclyn the MW guided Molly through each step. She also made her de-flex the head to get it out. The baby was adorable. A handsome, loud little boy, when we held him up to his mom she looked angry and turned her head away in disapproval. She made it clear to all that she didn’t want this boy, she wanted a girl. It was painful. It was like that baby instantly knew how his moma felt. He seemed sad, lonely and mom didn’t care. I had never seen such disappointment in a healthy baby. Morgan went over to the baby, loving on him and welcoming him to us. I worried that a new child could easily leave his body upon being rejected by his mother.
Molly started delivering the placenta and as the cord was lengthening she said “I can feel it tearing”. She stopped tugging and sure enough the cord was ripping so Joeclyn grabbed the clamps and placed them above the tearing to get the rest of the placenta out. It eventually all came but was velementous.
I kept telling the mom that her baby really loved her and needed her. She would make this detached, disgusted face but I wouldn’t stop telling her how much he needed her.
At this point my foot was killing me… I took it out of my rubber clog to find that it was pretty swollen. It looked like I had gotten a few bites by something on the top of my toes and again on the bottom. It really hurt, was hot and heavy. I went into the next delivery room to watch another baby being born till finally I said I need to go home. I got a taxi and went home
When I awoke in the morning I came down the stairs and Molly gave me a gold, old southern “Mornin”. I sat on the edge of her bed, eager to hear the stories from the rest of her night. Sure enough I missed a 24 week old delivery and resuscitation. I was jealous that I had needed to go home and decided to instead hold myself with compassion and respect for doing what my body needed. I had a massage scheduled with a local healer at 1pm and I couldn’t wait to have some hand on healing.
Molly and I sat on our porch sipping coffee and tea and we both broke out into tears when we realized how much we had seen and been dealing with in the past week. We talked about the diversity between the 2 worlds. Our role in gapping them… and most of all we cried as our hearts managed to tear open even wider… to hold the realities of most people in this world that we knowingly choose to ignore.
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