Wednesday, August 3

more calm, less storm please

I was thinking gosh, the last few days have really been calm, what should I write about? And then I remembered all the things I haven't told you yet.

On Sunday night, just after the sun went down, the heavens opened up and a big storm blew through. The thunder and lightning kind of storm. The only nurse who was working up at the cholera house called and yelled into the phone come quick, a 7.5 month pregnant lady is having pains and pushing already. Lori and I ran around like idiots trying to grab the necessities like shoes, a light and all the birthing stuff. The truck got stuck going up the road the night before because of rain so we knew we would have to hike. We threw on ponchos (which turned out to be kind of a joke) and set out across the river and up to the house. Before we got out the gate, the nurse called again and said the baby had come but to hurry because mom was bleeding a lot. We were hurrying as fast as we could but again with the jokes as it is raining so hard I can't see my hand in front of my face. Mudslides everywhere and guided by the light of a little headlamp. I laughed out loud several times thinking how can I actually be living this right now? I got up to the house first and found a crowd on the porch hovered over mom and baby. I was shocked because this woman had been in the cholera house for several days and was very very sick (on her 47th bag of IV fluids) and we had no idea she was even pregnant. I grabbed the clamp, cut the cord and started working on baby, who for only 7.5 months gestation looked to be decent sized, but had a very poor cry. Lori worked on mom to get her bleeding under control. We moved them into a small private hallway and got settled but the baby was not looking great. It was clear that his lungs were underdeveloped as he struggled to breathe. We made the very hard decision to not bring the baby down in the storm knowing his best chance was to be snuggled up close to mom. He would be freezing cold and wet and the most we could do would be to give oxygen that his little lungs wouldn't even be able to circulate. We left them peacefully resting and the baby died not long after in the arms of his mamma and pappa. It's pretty crappy that the severe dehydration brought on by cholera is causing all these moms to go into labor.

Monday was spent getting lots of work done in the office and caring for the little 4 pounder that was born up at the cholera house last week. He was not looking good and clearly have some GI problems, he died early Tuesday morning.

Erline, who I posted about here, had been released from the cholera house but was in 2 week quarantine before going back to the Rescue Center and she died suddenly this morning. We thought she was looking better, and although dehydrated, she was up drinking from a bottle this morning and then just died. The combination of the sever Kwashiorkor and cholera was too much for her little body.

I'm pretty much over you, cholera.

Anna and Lori left yesterday for California (where Lori is going to skydive!) Licia, Hannah and I are left to hold down the fort and so far, so good. Other than that whole Emily thing...

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Clearly, we need your prayers in the next 48 hours. We are far enough in from the coast so we have to worry more about flash flooding. Most of the mission's buildings are down in the valley, but only about 50 feet from the river. We have plans to have everyone moved upstairs tonight and we will move the Rescue Center kids, who are next door upstairs as needed. I am most worried about the cholera house that is across the river and higher up on the mountain. They are not protected from the wind, especially the 30 or so people who are out in the tent. We are trying to send as many people home today as possible and will put people on the floors in the house if we have to.

Licia has been trying to talk to the staff about the storm coming and they keep saying "oh, you silly white people, don't you know that God is going to send the storm away. Something else that bad cannot happen to us." Let's pray they are right.

Seriously, let's pray.


Heather Sunseri said...

Hi, Emily. I've really enjoyed reading some of your stories from Haiti. I just returned from a trip to the Northwest Haiti area. Fell in love with the country and especially the people.

Anyway, wanted to let you know I'm praying for you and everyone in Haiti the next few days. May God calm that storm and lessen the amount of rain Haiti is to receive.