Our time in the US has been a great blessing to us in many ways. We were able to visit our families and give a helping hand where we saw the need. We met many new people and made new friends. We were able to share what we are doing here in Bolivia, and share what we would still like to do. One of those dreams is to work with mothers and birthing.
Through the generosity of many, I was able to buy all of the text books for the midwifery course and some useful midwifery tools. Medical text books and tools are expensive, and I want to thank all who generously gave toward their expenses.
A special thank you to the Cartersville Church Women's Ministry who were the first to specifically donate toward helping other women. It was a very big encouragement to see others also interested in helping women in need.
A closeup of some of the things I was able to buy: A Blood Pressure Cuff, a Stethoscope, a model skeleton, a life size female pelvic girdle, and a Pinards Horn.
With the stethoscope, Pinards horn, and blood pressure cuff, I can do a lot for prenatal assessment. The skeleton and pelvic girdle are for educational purposes. The women in the remote areas are not educated much on the human body, so if you talk to them about the pelvis and the organs in the pelvis, they won't understand you. However, with a model, they can see what you are talking about and with few words understand conceptually what is going on inside of them. I plan on finding a cloth doll with a head the same diameter as a human baby to show how the baby descends through the pelvis, and I want to find a very elastic material to sew into a model of the uterus, cervix, and vagina, to demonstrate how all of these organs fit in the pelvis and change during pregnancy and child birth.
All of the Text Books!
DJ, Jodi, and Hadasa Knott
Born: March 6, 2017
I had the books, the resources, and the desire, but who would let me be part of their birth experience until I had... experience?
God has been arranging that as well. Babi Cristea is a Neonatal Nurse, with much more experience than I, is willing to let me work with her. Then, Jodi Knott asked us to be a part of her home birth here in Bolivia, and next month a new missionary family from Papua New Guinea are expecting and also want to have a home birth. They have asked if we would be present to help them too :)
Babi looking on as Jodi cares for her baby
For Jodi's delivery we needed to travel to Cochabamba, and since Steven isn't here with me in Bolivia at the moment (he is in the US getting the Turbo 182 ready to bring down), it poses challenges. The government here doesn't let you travel with children unless both parents are present, or you have documentation showing that you have permission from the absent parent to travel with the children. I didn't have the documents legalized, and it was the Carnival holiday. All the government offices were closed for the week. I was trying to fly from Santa Cruz to Cochabamba, because even though it was more expensive than bus, it was more likely that the airline personnel were sober, and it was a 45 min flight versus a crazy bus terminal and an overnight bus ride through a partying countryside. I was a white lady, alone with two active little boys. We went searching for somewhere to authenticate and legalize the documents, and found a place at the bus station! There were parties in the streets all around and "water flights" everywhere. Most dye the water so that it stains what it hits, but others are less kind and fill the balloons with bleach, urine, or even rocks. Thankfully everyone respected the fact that I had babies and didn't involve me in the "fiesta". The other challenge was what to do with my boys during the birth. My sister came to Cochabamba and spent some Auntie time with Timothy and James. It was a little, but huge detail that God took care of. Thank you Auntie Sara!
Helen and James, Jodi and Hadasa, and Babi
And so the adventure continues. Some amazing experiences and some very hard ones. New birth being amazing, and having to figure out how to live and travel alone in Bolivia with two baby boys while Steven is in the US. And now to try to keep studying and learning to prepare for next months baby!
God Bless you all and thank you for you part in the adventure. Helen Wilson