One of my volunteers, Amanda (pictured below), had an amazing experience delivering a baby at the local hospital here we work at in Savusavu. Amanda is an amazing asset to our team, and is working towards being a PA working in women's health. I'll let what she wrote tell the rest of the story:
“'What did you do in Fiji? What was your favorite part?' people ask me. More like, what didn't I do and what didn't I love! Being in Fiji is an incredible experience, and I have been fortunate enough to do so many different things. However, when I’m asked what I did and what my favorite part was, I will surely answer by telling of my experience delivering a baby.
The midwives told me in the afternoon that a mom came in and was expecting to deliver that day. I was so excited! The week before I was able to observe a delivery and was told that I could preform the next one. We sat waiting for about 4 hours as the mother was getting closer and closer to a 10 cm dilation. She would walk up and down the hall, lean against the wall, or go sit on her bed. Finally the midwife called her into the room to check if the baby was ready. As the midwife was checking the mother, I turned to grab a few more gauzes. I had my back to them when the midwife called out, “Amanda come! come!” I turned around and the baby was just beginning to crown! I ran back next to the mother and prepared myself for the delivery. Before I really had time to think the crowning continued and then I was supporting the baby’s head as I checked for the umbilical cord. We told the mother that it was clear and with one more push the baby came into this world, and I placed him on his mother.
At this point a few things overwhelmed me. The first was the emotion of this living human being coming into the world. I understand now why so many parents get emotional when they first hold their child. It is a beautiful experience to watch the first few moments of a new life. To see how the mother instantly relaxed as her baby that she cared for and carried was finally there for her to hold. It was exciting, relieving, joyful, warm, hopeful, and every other good word you can think of. The second thing that impressed me was the mother. She was so calm and so quiet during the process. She never screamed, never even moaned. She was just still, focused and calm. After the delivery was over I asked the midwife if the mom was on any drugs or epidural- she wasn’t. The strength these women have is amazing to me. This mom reminded me that delivering miraculous children is what our bodies are made to do and are capable of doing.
Once the baby was on the mother we cleaned him off with some of the towels, then cut the umbilical cord. Next was the afterbirth step where we helped the mother to deliver the placenta. This all seemed to be easy for her as well. Again, she was so calm and quiet, or she appeared to be so on the outside. We then had to check for any tears, and the midwife sewed up the ones we found. After about 45 minutes of the delivery the baby was passed to the father and the mom was cleaned up and walked from the delivery room back to her bed in the maternity ward.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience this delivery. It helped me to gain even more motivation to do well in my schooling in America, because now I’m even more sure of what I want to do for a career.
I also wish I was a better writer so I could better depict the emotion and events that took place. I just know that life is greater than us, and I feel that is the reason why it is such a powerful and impressing experience to witness the beginning of a life.