Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Full Day of Prenatals & Another Surprise ~ Day Five

Our day of adventures started out before the sun rose this morning. It was 3 degrees below zero when we walked out the door, not knowing exactly what this day would hold. It was absolutely glorious watching the pinkish orange sun rays light up the hillsides and trees that were ladened with snow and ice. It was quite a feast for the eyes, something no camera can capture. Today was planned to be a full day of prenatals plus one post-partum visit to the couple who's birth I attended Sunday evening. One thing that is good about states such as Michigan and Ohio is that we really appreciate the sun. I had not seen it since entering Ohio until today, and after all the snow we're been blessed with, the landscape just glittered. We went to a few prenatals all over the countryside, I'm getting a lot more confident with my prenatal skills, it really helps when you do 5-10 a day. For Tuesday's prenatals I wore my nice more dressy-type winter boots but after walking through all the unplowed driveways and walkways I wore my big winter snow boots today! Freida is amazed by how warm of warm clothes I have, yet I just keep reminding her that I'm from the cold up north. Sadly the cold up north has come several hundred miles down south. As we were traveling to another prenatal we were driving through some very curvy roads all around farms and deep valleys with wonderful views. There was once part where there was a buggy coming towards us and as they were nearing you could see the horses' breath in the cold crisp air and the sun was shinning through the trees and glistening off of the snow that lightly covered the top of the buggy. We then drove around a hill and the snow looked pink from the sunrise and the snow sparkeled down through the air until it hit the ground. The horses were running and playing through the snow, everything seemed to be made more alive by the presence of the sun. We had a sad visit today, a woman would have been 14 weeks along yet she was suspecting that all was not right, we couldn't find a heartbeat nor any uterine growth. It was her second mis-carriage in only a couple years. I'm so grateful that I can learn how to deal with these hard realities of midwifery while training under such a kind and loving person. We saw two first time mom's as well today, strangely I believe I'm older than both of them. I got to the point where I could tell if we were going to an Amish home by looking at the tracks in the driveway.

We went to the home of a woman that was due and when we got there she quickly informed us that she was in labor. I was so grateful that I had headed that still small voice early this morning when I was getting dressed and the Lord impressed me to wear dark clothes that I wouldn't mid wearing for a delivery. I had a bit of food with me and my "Book of books," so I was set. When we checked her she was 8cm and her water broke right away, I went into turbo mode flying around the house trying to get everything ready for this imminent birth, or so I thought. The head was still floating around and so we were trying to take precaution so that we did not end up with prolapse cord. After a few minutes we realized it was not going to happen as soon as we thought so Freida left me at the house and went to go put some fuel in the vehicle, we had been driving around all morning in the middle of nowhere on Empty. It was a nice time to get to know Susie and Ammon, they have 6 living children, 5 boys and one little girl. 

They quickly bundled up the three youngest ones that weren't in school and took them to the neighbors until after the baby was born.


I got the house ready and tried to have some food, I was starving at this point. My one regret... I had failed to go to the bathroom at the previous homes because we were going to go to an "English" home after this one and many others after that that all had indoor restrooms. Going in an Amish outhouse in below zero weather is quite an experience! Anyways, the baby was in quite an odd position and so he took 2 1/2 hours of pushing out in order to finally enter the world. It was a blessing because I got to learn a lot about what to do when the baby's head isn't coming down correctly. I got to see Freida in action, it was great! After 2 1/2 hours of pushing, being in about 5 different positions and trying many different things. At one point her husband was holding her feet together and pushing her legs back while I was standing on the bed doing a "tug-of-war" kind of thing with Susie and Freida was doing something else to help bring the baby down. It was quite the sight I'm sure. Freida's one concern was that I'd pull to hard and fall backwards off the bed. The baby finally cam at 6:20pm, he was 9lb 3oz, 21 inches long.

It had gotten quite dark at this point so Ammon had lit some of the kerosene lamps and put one in each room so that we could see. It really made a peaceful atmosphere in the house. It was so soft and calm. The mom bled quite a bit, another great learning opportunity to know what herbs to give for hemorrhage. After we got her all settled and she was sleeping I took the baby and did one of my favorite things, sat in a handmade rocking-chair in front of the wood stove with just the light of the kerosene lamp in the background and rocked the little one to sleep. We rocked and rocked until I almost fell asleep as well. It was a lot of fun being there, they are also
 Swartzentruber Amish and so we get water from a hand pump and mix it with water from the cook-stove to make it warm. We had the baby clothes, towels, and anything else you need warm on the racks above the other wood stove and go around carrying the lanterns. What an amazing experience.

We left their house after nine both tired and ready for bed thinking we would have a nice relaxing drive home. The stars were absolutely amazing tonight, as it was so cold and clear out. We were driving down the road when we came up to the end of the road where you had to turn and lo and behold... we just kept on going, and going until we crashed down into the deep ditch. At this point all I could do was laugh, we were completely stuck in the middle of absolutely nowhere and as far as I could tell the only ones around us in any close proximity were Amish.  We had a family in a buggy stop to see if they could help us yet after looking at our situation quickly realized they could do nothing to get us out, a few other kind Amish tried to push us out but to no avail. Then Freida called some other friends that came and tugged, pulled, and jarred us until we came out of the terribly deep ditch. After we got stuck I looked at Freida and said "Praise the Lord you got fuel when you did because if you wouldn't we would have been in even worse peril." At least we were warm and safe. What a way to end a day, I honestly would start laughing whenever I would think about it. Tomorrow we are off to complete the rest of the visits that we didn't make it to today. Who knows what the day will hold!

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