BLACK OUT BIRTH

Posted: October 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

I’m learning to keep the cell
phone by my bed.  It rang at 4:00 AM with Jonna letting me know a 17
year old mom to be was in labor.  I grabbed John’s keys since my car is
still in the shop and called Lisa, Paige and Tara.  I got Lisa who had
just gone to bed at 3:00 AM since her house had flooded from the
torrential rain we just had. 

I got to the Women’s Center and
flipped on the light.  It didn’t work.  I’ve lived here a long time and
should have known instantly what the problem was but at 4:00 AM I was a
little slow and said "why won’t the light turn on?"  Silly question, we
were in black out and the batteries had run down and the generator is
broken.  Anyone have a flashlight?  Stephanie did thank goodness. 
Stephanie is one well prepared midwife.

Small room, laboring mom,
four midwives and a doula with no fan.  Made for a sweaty night.  Mom
delivered at 8:14 AM – a healthy 7 pound boy.

This
mom was a special one.  She had been pregnant before, had preeclampsia
and delivered a stillborn baby.  Tough on a 15 year old Haitian girl. 
Tough on any girl anywhere.

The prenatal/birthing center is upstairs
at the women’s center.  God help any man who climbs the stairs unless
called for.  When the mom delivered this morning sewing class was going
on downstairs.  They cheered when they heard the baby cry.  It made me
cry too thinking about women supporting women in different parts of our
program.  Women who care about other women.

We have had four births
in the last month.  So much for a slow start.  We still have so many
needs – a working generator on the top of the list.  Hard to get vitals
by flashlight.  But, we did it, no one complained (well, we groaned a
time or two about not having a fan) and mom and baby are doing fine. 

The
power is still not on – the women’s center is dark.  I’m exhausted and
headed to bed but my cell phone is on my bedside table.  Just in case.


Beth McHoul
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Comments
  1. Carol says:

    Beth, do you have a hard time keeping your cell phones charged when there are black outs? The whole cell phone thing fascinated me when I visited Tanzania. Somehow they manage to have technology but no electricity. I had to go back a second time to discover that they just charge them up where ever they find and adapter that works. Just curious what you do for emergencies. Cool story about the women cheering for the new mom upstairs, I\’m sure she felt their support.

  2. John says:

    we get more than enough power to keep our cell phones charged due to back up power of inverters and generators. Often students and Haitian friends charge their phones at our center and church b/c they do not have electricity at their homes. We were in total blackout since our generator isn\’t working but that is not the norm for us. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

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