Yesterday was an extremely exciting day because I got to witness and help with a birth at the Africa Mission services clinic. The girl was 18 years old, HIV positive, and it was her first baby. Her husband had died just a few months ago, so it was sad for this girl that she would be raising her baby on her own. It was a difficult birth for her- as there are no pain medications or epidurals here in the Masai Mara. I think she was also struggling with attitude and if she wanted the baby or not.
Thankfully, despite her birth being difficult and having to use oxytocin, giving her a D50 solution into her vein to help push, and having to help position the head to come through a very small birth canal, both baby and mom are well! Baby breathed spontaneously after birth and seemed to be warm and alert. We will check on both baby and mom this morning and we will also do a home visit to their house in one week to make sure they are ok (and taking the HIV medicines).
Yesterday and the day before, we completed two other home visits to Masai family members who needed visitations. The first women we saw was HIV positive and had not been taking her medicines or following up with visits to clinic. When asked why, we were told that her husband through them away because he was in denial. We met with both the mother and her husband and she denied ever being HIV positive. We talked to them about the importance of getting retested and we will be following up with the couple to make sure they are both re-tested together.
The second home visit was to a baby who was a difficult birth and who required resuscitation at delivery. We visited this baby and were delighted to see a healthy happy baby who was feeding wonderfully. The family was so excited to see us and tell us how well their baby was doing. They invited us into their home and made us chai tea- which is typical Kenyan black tea with milk and sugar- and chapatis (a tortilla like fried food).
I am slowly being trained in at the clinic and meeting the nurses and midwife there. It is a little intimidating sometimes- the amount of new things to learn- especially with labor and delivery. But the nurses are great and I'm very excited and feel blessed to be here!