Sunday, November 1, 2015

Full Days, Full Moons, and Full Hearts

If you are one of those people that scoff at the notion that there are more births around full moon, then please disregard my belief in said notion as the result of too many nights with lost sleep due to too many births around full moon.

We have had a rush of births in the last week, whatever the reason.  We had two births here yesterday.  And there is a woman sitting out in the crowd out front that believes she is in the beginning stages of labor as I write.

Yesterday's first birth story actually began the day before yesterday.  A small crowd surrounding a woman with a protruding abdomen came up to the clinic gate just as Whit, Hans, and I were leaving to go home from taking care of a small boy that appeared to be having an allergic reaction.  We checked her to see how far along she was, and, since she wasn't very far along, settled her in for the night with instructions to call us if anything happened in the night.

We awoke to a knock at four o'clock, and were told that she was "decomposing", or passing out, and they wanted to know if we could come check on her.  We hurried down to the clinic, only to find her nearly asleep.  We went ahead and checked her since we were here anyway, and found her to be progressing nicely.  It was her first baby, so we told her to try to get some rest since she would need her strength later.

Mali ran back down to check on her when they came back and knocked again at six-thirty.  She called me on the radio shortly after to let me know that she thought that I should come down too, since it looked like this baby was going to be coming soon.  I jogged down a few minutes later to find that the baby was, indeed, very close.

When the baby was still just "very close" some time later, we made a call back to the house to ask everyone to pray for the woman, the baby, and two nurses who felt a need for additional wisdom.

We tried just about everything in the book - literally.  Duck-walking, normal walking, laying down, sitting up, standing up - we'd have got her on her head if we would have had any reason to believe that that could help.  Our concern grew as time went by.

Donny called on the radio to see how things were going, and I told him that we were discussing the possibility of sending her out.  He said to just let him know when we made a decision, and that they were praying for us.  I had no sooner than got off the radio when I looked up and saw an angel standing there looking at me.

This particular angel's face was very familiar to me, as was his name.

"Michael!  Oh, I am SO happy to see you, what are you doing here?  You wanna help us?  Can you look at someone for us?  What are you DOING here?  Mali, it's MICHAEL!  Oh, we are SO happy to see you.  Can you come in here for a minute??  There's a lady here in labor, andshesbeennearlycrowningforalongtimeandwerestartingtogetworriedandwewerejusttalkingaboutsendingheroutbutthebabysheartbeathasbeenfineandwerejustnotquitesurewhatweshouldobecausewejustkeepthinkingthatshesprobablygoingtohaveitanytime...."

See, I know that he was a gift that was heaven-sent, because he managed to not only follow all that was spilling out of my mouth, but to keep a smile on his face through it all.  Michael, if you're reading this, you'll never know how reassuring your presence was that morning.  Really, truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. 

Long, stressful story short, a little boy was finally born.  Tears sprang to both Mali and my eyes as we heard him let out his first yell.  Our praises to God for a healthy baby were cut off by the sight of a MUCH larger amount of blood than you're supposed to see outside the body, and were replaced by desperate pleas for the bleeding to stop.

Praise the Lord, it did finally stop.  We got the mother settled in her bed with her small, cone-headed son, and went out to get our clinic day started just about the time that Fre Norès was finishing up devotions with the crowd out front.


It seems like I can never finish up my blogs the same evening that I started them.  This was a post that I started last Tuesday, and now I suppose I can tell you "the rest of the story".

We kept this mother here so that we could keep an eye on her for at least a few days, and eventually ended up sending her out for a blood transfusion.

The lady who thought that she was in labor on Tuesday morning finally had her baby this (Sunday) morning.  A healthy, if rather angry, little baby boy.  Mali and I both chuckled over the way he would scowl at me, and he was letting out warrior cries from the moment he entered the world.  Guess he thought he'd better make sure that we knew who was boss from the get-go.

In other news, Ewald was back doing his thing with teeth again for the past two weeks.  His work is really worthy of a post dedicated to just that, so I think I'll leave that to someone else.  Suffice it to say that there was incredible work done in that time, and an incredible amount of it. 

With the additional dentistry patients, our little clinic sometimes felt like it was straining at the seams to hold everyone, and there were some very long days put in by those assisting in the dentist's affairs.

Full days.  Full of high blood pressures, belly aches, fevers, headaches, and blood.  Full of shared laughter, tears, jokes, encouragement, and prayers.  Full of good things, and some not-so-good things.

Full hearts.  Full of love and pain; joy and sorrow.

Full of life.  And wonder of a God who is good.  Who has bestowed us each moment and each person in our lives.  When you work with the dying, you learn to appreciate life in new ways.  You learn to recognize that every breath is a gift, not a promise. 

So make the most of the time you have been gifted.  Hug your mom, and tell her how much she means to you.  Thank your dad for all that he has sacrificed for you.  Bless those that have blessed you.  Make a coffee date with that friend that you've been wanting to share with.

Leave no regrets.

Glorify God.


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