Tuesday, June 3, 2008

24 hours on, 24 hours off

I worked as shadow to the second on yesterday during the day. That means that I followed the second around doing citas all day from 8:00 a.m. until about 5:30 p.m. I'm getting an idea of what it means to run a cita, but I still wouldn't be totally comfortable running one. Tomorrow I'll be running citas with a staff midwife. More Spanish studying tonight to get ready.

I was the second on (not shadow) last night. That means that I worked at the birth that happened at 6:30 p.m. Then, I was "on call" until 6 a.m. on Tuesday. I'm getting a wee bit confused about just what day it is. After a day of citas I was pretty tired, so I was glad that the birth happened fairly early in the evening. I helped with the clean-up of the supplies, etc, then was told that I could sleep. I fell into bed at what felt like midnight, but it was really only 10 p.m. And since there were no births last night, I got to sleep until after 7 a.m. I really can't complain too badly, since the two interns who are currently working as first ons are both pregnant--one is in her first trimester and feeling queasy, the other is in her third trimester and feeling huge. They are real troopers, both.

I'm learning about taking heart tones during the pushing part of birth. And since I'm clumsy about all of this, I'm working on getting coordinated with taking the heart tones AND doing the charting. I feel pretty comfortable charting, taking the notes, paying attention to the times. I'm glad to be working on something I'm not so comfortable with.

Some exploring was on my agenda today, on my day off. I walked to downtown El Paso, and I tried to do it while it was still only in the 80's, and not when it got to 100 degrees. I forgot to bring my camera along, which is my plan to eventually upload some pics of where I am. I got to walk through a residential area that is pretty. I'm appreciating the fact that the majority of the homes here have desert scapes for landscaping, rather than water consuming lawns. Looking at the yards with rocks and pavement, I did wonder where the children play (and I was hearing that Cat Stevens song in my head). I guess when you live in a desert, it's just one big sandbox.

About an hour and a half later, I arrived back at Casa, only to be told that a birth was imminent and that they wanted me to take heart tones during second stage. Always learning, taking every opportunity, even on a day off. I'm getting a little better about handling the doppler, remembering to turn it on after it's in position, and off before I remove it. There's this horrible static-y noise that happens if you don't remember to do that. I wasn't expected to anything other than this, so it didn't take too long before I'm back to my day off.

The story of how Casa de Nacimiento came about is a good one, though long. If you're interested, you'll find it here. The history of midwifery is interesting, too. There have always been midwives at births, but at times in history this has been threatening to someone, and they have often been the subject of persecution. There are present day persecution of midwives as well. Linda Arnold, the founder of Casa, was persecuted by the local medical community. She's clearly a woman of strength and has created what is now a well-established clinic, and an internationally known training center for midwives. I was loving paging through the intern contact book and seeing all the different places people were from. And I'm loving being part of that larger community of women.

Well, I'm off to study for my test that I need to take on Friday, and to try to learn more Spanish.
Spanish words and phrases that come in handy:
lo siento: I'm sorry
bebe es precios(o)-(a): baby is precious
tienes preguntas: do you have questions (I have to use this one carefully, because I'm sure I won't understand the questions if they do have them)

1 comment:

Chrissy said...

I love the way you're embracing this experience and squeezing every bit you can from it! And thanks for sharing via the blog - I appreciate the virtual experience from my couch. Your family seems to be doing well, and of course we loved having Liam here today. He played happily with Casey and the kids, and he saw a bunch of his friends at school (we packed a lunch and "worked" in the cafeteria). He was especially excited today for his grandma since it rained all morning so she wouldn't have to water her garden. He's so sweet!