Catching babies in Africa: sensitive hearts, refrain
By rereading my diary, which tells in detail each of the deliveries that I attended during my internship in Madagascar, I can not help but be surprised by the medical gaze that I wore on the thing.
I know because I remember feeling great strong emotions during those few weeks. However, my writing is very descriptive with only a few remarks on my personal experience. I was learning a lot and I wanted to keep the details, I guess.
At the time, I was still very keen to be admitted to the midwifery practice baccalaureate, here in Trois-Rivières. On my second application in 2 years, I would send this logbook, along with photos and testimonials. The cerebral side of my text certainly spoke for this selection committee.
Now, 4 years later, it is strange to reread these testimonials and try to make a story out of it, with emotional memories of the details so surgical that I wrote.
Here is what I wrote on the 6th childbirth. The text is very graphic. Healthcare professionals may not flinch, but pregnant moms reading this: don't worry about this story.
Sixth childbirth 13-02-14: Rosette, sting and poo.
On arrival, the parturient was dilated to 6 cm but has been in labor for several hours, she is given a oxytocin serum, it's me who stings the luck this time. This hormone works hard on a woman's body because her pain increases immediately, but 20 minutes later she is ready to push!
The head is already at the opening of the vagina. His pushes were effective, in three contractions the head is out. There was poo coming out at the same time, so before the head came out I took cotton to remove the poo, but the head came out at the same time, so it went out. torn up because I did not have time to put my hands to protect the perineum.
Le amniotic liquid was greenish but less thick than the previous one. The little girl had the umbilical cord at the top of her shoulder, it didn't go all the way around the throat, but there wasn't much missing to close the loop.
She was not born vigorous, but siphoning the mucus with the pear and a few slaps under her feet she started to cry and we put her skin-to-skin with the mother. I then did the local anesthesia and the 3 stitches.
This delivery was supervised by Rosette and not by Edwige, which unsettled me a little because with Edwige we already had an established routine with our roles each. Rosette was not present in the majority of my deliveries, so she does not know what I have learned. There was a bit of a mess given to caring for the baby, she didn't give me as much freedom as Edwige. I have to adapt to her way of working, she's the one in charge, I still have to observe other ways of doing things than Edwige's.
This sentence annoys me: "Rosette was not present in the majority of my deliveries, so she does not know ..."
Now, I would never say MY deliveries. If there is one thing that I stick to, it's good that no one gives birth, except the mother. The doctor does not give birth to the woman, I do not give birth ... the only person to give birth is the mother. Instead, I like to say that I am going to assist the woman, on my way to a birth. Or referring to my experience in Mada, I was catching babies. It's more of a translation of the English-speaking phrase catching babies.
By rereading the logbook, I also notice that on several occasions, there is an administration ofartificial oxytocin (syntocin or pitocin). It should be understood that this synthetic hormone drastically increases the intensity of contractions and that it is not uncommon to see it paired with an epidural, for pain management.
In the Diego-Suarez clinic, there was no no epidural. In fact, there was no more syntocin, you had to ask a family member to go and buy it at the pharmacy. We were just administering it. Sometimes when I accompany couples here, and the mother takes synto without an epidural, and it seems to be really intense ... I think back to all these women to whom I gave it, without really knowing what I was doing, in following the instructions of my midwife.
The medical tone I use to describe my learning titillates me, but I understand it. I wanted to have credibility, I wanted to "rise to the rank of midwife" and I thought I was taking the best path.
The emotions, the strong moments, the tears of joy and sadness, I keep them in mind and drop a few here.