Monday, October 31, 2016


Yesterday Josh preached a sermon about identity in Christ. The focus was on II Corinthians 5:11-21. But we also looked at II Cor. 6:1. I'm a fellow worker with God. A co-worker. Working together with Him. This particular thought grabbed me. I decided to meditate on it a bit this week. Prayed about seeing myself as God's co-worker.
So today.... first phone call for help at 4:30 am. Judith, an expectant mother with a hydrocephalus fetus. In labor. So ran out to the village, found her (a challenge all by itself) and  transported her to the hospital and got the c-section ball rolling. Mostly. Bethesda was a bit slow that time of the day but good FHTs and not super active labor so I tried to just take it easy. At 8am picked up Rachel and headed back to the clinic. 20+ prenatal women with a teaching session. Also a child with a burn, Kristine Emeru, two other kids, mouth sores and pneumonia. Another adult or two with general complaints.  One of the new mothers was fifteen years old. Makes me nauseated. One of the women was in active labor and wanted to go to the hospital. Another mother I couldn't get FHTs on. Got a call from Dr. Elisabeth around 12:30 to please come back quickly so packed up the two mothers who needed to go to the hospital and we headed back to Bethesda. Judith's baby had arrived. Very complicated. Very sick. Not breathing well. Cleft palate on top of the extreme hydrocephalus. Finger and toe deformities. Who knows what else?
Meanwhile got a call from the surgeon in Kumi (and several from Joyce and family) that they were not going to do surgery this week and she needed to be discharged. So ran out and picked them up. Came back and headed straight back to the hospital. The mother who I couldn't get FHTs on was just sitting in the waiting room. So I tried to figure out what the plan was for her. IUFD. Induction tomorrow. Discovered she didn't know any of this . So sat and had to tell her the baby had died. Explained the plan and maked sure she had the things she needed to get through the night. Tears just rolled down her face while she tried to hide them.  Then I went to check on Judith. Awake and alert. Asked what she knew about the baby's condition. Almost nothing. So tried to break it to her gently. Went over to the nursery, discovered the baby was completely alone.  The staff had been totally unable to get a line in. She had knocked her oxygen off and thought her breathing was a bit better, her sats were still low on room air. She was also quite cold. I asked Judith if she wanted to hold her and then carried her into the postpartum room (where there are currently three patients plus Judith) hoping they would do a little skin to skin.
Poor Judith was shocked and horrified at the condition of her baby. I guess I wasn't frank enough. She told me she didn't have the strength to hold her. I convinced grandma to hold her for a second but she didn't want me to remove any of the blankets. Practically every other woman and their attendants in the ward (of which there were many!) pushed their way through the curtain to see. Everyone made comments to Judith. (Most in Ateso so I don't know exactly what was being said). I could tell Judith just wanted to cover her head and cry so I told them the baby needed to go back in the warmer and scooped her up and took her back to the nursery. Even I wanted to just cry. This poor little child just needs to be held by her mother and loved for her probably limited time on this earth. At this point it was after 5pm. I was mentally, physically and emotionally done. Just done. 12+ hours, lots of grief and loss, lots of significant decisions, too many miles of driving. So I tucked the little baby girl back in, promised all of my hospital patients I'd be back in the morning and clocked out.
This was my day of meditating on being God's co-worker. Seems like I could and should ask God what the heck He was trying to teach me today but instead I'm just going to call it a day and go to bed.

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