Last Night!

In the past two months I have never slept as long as I wanted. At times I skipped at least one meal a day. I’m embarrassed to say that I often went days at a time without brushing my teeth! After being up with one or more laboring women I would drop into my bed in the dark hours before dawn only to wake up again an hour or so later with the morning sounds of Atiak: the “slashing” of the grass to keep it low to reduce fire and snake worry, the filling of the jerry cans with water for washing, the sounds of our children who wake up smiling with cries of “auntie, auntie, good morning!” Even with the exhaustion and stress I’m really going to miss our little birth center in Uganda!
The work that we’re doing there is really special! There really are few places in Africa where women are able to get the level of care we provide with the love and support that we give them. Women can birth at home where they’re treated kindly but their Traditional Midwife may have limited training on what to do in an emergency. Women can birth in the hospital where if something goes wrong they will be taken care of but they are often treated not well and it certainly is not a loving and supportive environment. Just like the American home birth midwives that we are, we give them love and support and even if we can’t treat every emergency we are able to recognize when something is up and know to transport if necessary.
I hope to return to Uganda and I really want to help MHI to figure out ways to make this midwifery model of care sustainable and available in more places! Right now I’m enjoying my last night in Uganda- at the beach! Already today I’ve been on a bus for 8 hours and will soon be on a plane for 24 hours then I’ll be in the winter wonderland that is Michigan! Love you all and see you soon!