Today was our last day to volunteer. It was a holiday today, so we were able to come into work about 30 minutes later.
Jennifer met us at the entrance of the hospital in the morning, and we checked on our moms from the night before to see how they and baby were doing with breast-feeding. The mother I had mentioned about yesterday had a caesarean birth, but she and baby were resting well. Unfortunately, in the caesarean section ward I did not see one baby attached to mom. It was also upsetting to hear that the premature babies in this hospital are kept away from mothers and put into incubators, instead of doing skin to skin. Research has shown that premature babies thrive faster with constant skin to skin and touch therapy.
Jennifer and Priscilla told us it would be a little bit slower because it's a holiday, but it was actually extremely busy!
One young woman that I was supporting the night before was still working hard on her contractions. Beside her was another young woman that was a little bit further along in her contractions, needing just as much support. It was surreal; I would simultaneously apply counterpressure on one mother while rubbing the belly of the other, encouraging them each to "respira....despacio"
Within minutes, one of the two mothers was grunting and bearing down and we barely had time to make it to the delivery room! One big push, and baby was born! They didn't even have time to set up the area! There was a small perineal tear that required just a couple of stitches.
After she and baby were skin to skin and resting, I quickly went back to the other labouring mother.
There was a part of the cervix that had not completely thinned efficiently, so we tried various positions to help place baby's head on that part of the her cervix and encourage it to thin out; she sat up straddling the table, stood and did slow dancing, squats, and then eventually went back onto the table and onto all fours ( mom's low back began to ache)
It looked like baby was coming down smoothly, and the primal urge to push was very evident. the midwife shouted out, "Parto!"
We moved to the birthing room. It was about an hour of pushing in a seated/squat position, eventually laying down for the last minute to deliver. The focus on her face was incredible, and the room was very quiet. Another Doula, Emily gave her a sweet snack for a bit of energy, I massaged and applied counterpressure to her sacrum. When her daughter was born, she was placed immediately on her chest skin to skin and the clamping and cutting of the cord was delayed for about 2 minutes. Ideally delayed cord clamping should be about 2-5 minutes to ensure a baby receives all the blood from the placenta. ( I posted a great video of Penny Simkin explaining this)
I later met Katrina in the courtyard for a snack, since the cafeteria was closed today due to holiday. She shared with me her busy morning, and exclaimed how tightly her patient was holding onto her and twisting her arm! She felt quite beat up!
We sat there quietly for almost an hour in the garden, feeling exhausted.
We reconnected with Jennifer in the labour room. It had become
quiet, so we took a peek at the babies in postpartum with their mommas. All were happily tucked against their mother's breast, breastfeeding :)
There was one little baby in another area that was no more than 1000 grams(2.2lbs) it was being transferred via incubator. I was hoping to it's mother for some much needed skin to skin.
We left after saying our thank you and good byes and headed back to Nazu house to retreat for the evening.
Tomorrow, we will walk the stairs at Santa Anna and head to the Parque Historico.
In the evening, Jennifer will visit and we will talk about our experience volunteering with CAPPA Latinoamérica. Katrina and I will do a short video. She will share hers with the North American chapter at the CAPPA conference in October.
So I am off to my room to listen to the fireworks, reflect and make some more notes.
Good night, buenas noches.Last