A Delivery to Remember...
Not to say that every delivery is not forever, permanently marked into your memory for all time - but this one in particular, I am sure, I will NEVER forget.
Starting Monday morning around 1 am, Caleb lost his cookies. This continued every hour or so into Tuesday morning. So we watched lots of Thomas the Train, and hung out on the couch together all night/morning long. John and I kept Caleb in his room the entire time watching movies in a vain attempt to keep Hannah from getting whatever Caleb had. As Tuesday morning rolled around, Caleb started feeling a little better and John and I were just about to walk out the door for my OB appointment when Hannah lost all her cookies on the kitchen floor. Our poor Empleada, Ines, feverishly worked to clean up the mess as we left the house for our appointment - everyday I am grateful that Ines enjoys hanging out with my children so much; even when they are REALLY sick!
John and I headed off to my OB appointment, and it turned out that since my blood pressure was still high, our doctor decided to induce me right there in the office. The interesting thing was that she sent me home after the induction was started to labor at home - this was nice but totally never would have happened in the States. The induction worked really well and within an hour I was having noticeable contractions. I labored at home, sleep deprived with my poor sick children - it was pretty awful. As evening rolled around the kids started feeling a little better and when we put them to bed I breathed a sigh of relief. John and I headed to bed, but by this time there was no way I was going to sleep through the contractions, and it did not matter anyway because about an hour after I went to bed Hannah was up wanting to be held. I was super grateful that at this point she was not throwing up, she was just wanting comfort. Some of you might be asking where is John in all of this as the pregnant lady is laboring with sick children - well that evening John caught the bug too - yep pretty horrible. John could not get up with Hannah because the poor guy was so sick. We did not know how we were going to make it to the hospital especially with him in the bathroom every 30-40 minutes.
Into the morning, at about 2 am, I finally went in and told John that we needed to go to the hospital. I think John looked at me like I was half crazy. He was still pretty out of it and I decided to go wait a little longer for him to gather himself. I remember sitting on the couch crying thinking about how I was going to do this one on my own - I know some Spanish but not enough to go through a delivery. It was looking dim. John told me later that he was praying that God would hold off my contractions until he stopped throwing up. About a half hour later I told John we really, really needed to get to the hospital or pretty soon I would not be walking and he would be carrying me. John mustered up the strength and we called a friend to come over and watch the kids. We were so grateful that our friends got us a taxi when they came over. We found that the streets of Arequipa at three in the morning were completely empty, and that would have been a LONG walk to the hospital.
The taxi driver drove us right up to the emergency room of the hospital, and I think John and I looked at each other wondering if it was even open. There were a few lights on and one door open - and where was everyone?? It took us a few minutes to find one of the hospital staff, and once we did they took John over for payment and me behind a small sheet in the corner to start admitting baby and I.
I am not going to go into all the details here, but I will say this - privacy and asking permission are not the same here in the Peru - enough said.
The nurses asked for the baby clothes and blankets that I had for the baby as they dress the baby in the clothes you bring after delivery. They thought we were crazy because I did not bring super warm clothes for the baby. Back in the States we have central heating in our hospitals - yes, that is right, there was no heat in the hospital. It was about 50 degrees outside and about 60 degrees inside the hospital. The nurses were wearing down coats at work. John and I were wishing we had thought about this before, as John was only in a sweatshirt - he did not even think about bringing a jacket! They wheeled me up to the laboring floor completely covered from head to toe in blankets. I could not even see where I was going. Not knowing the language and my head completely covered, unable to see I though to myself, "What have I gotten myself into?"
Upon arriving in the room we received our one roll of toilet paper we would need during our stay, my one and only gown, and a bed - nothing fancy. We had the room to ourselves for a while and later we ended up sharing our room. It was so cold in the room that John asked for a blanket and they looked at him like he was silly saying: "Blankets are only for the patients." They must have had pity on us as they brought John a small blanket. I was covered in four blankets and was still freezing. One of the reasons the room was so cold was because the windows are not insulated , resulting in the wind coming right in through the cracks. As we sat and stared at the window we could see the blinds moving back and forth from the breeze - it was going to be a long, cold night.
Shortly after we arrived they began the induction with a gravity IV drip of pitocin, nothing like the IVs we get in the States. If I turned my arm one way I felt more contractions and if I turned my arm the other way the contractions would lessen. There were no fetal heart monitors, only a heart doppler for baby which got checked every few hours. According to the rules at the hospital, only my doctor could check my progress. Since no other staff doctors or nurses were allowed to check me, we never really knew how far along I was in the whole labor process. My doctor was actually Really Great! She was always willing to work with us. She came in when we arrived in the emergency room, and she came by before clinic that morning to see how I was doing. A few hours after she came by, my contractions were progressively getting more intense, so John checked me to see if I was making progress - they never said John couldn't check me right? I had been laboring with decent contractions since Tuesday morning around eleven and now it was nine o'clock on Wednesday and I was only at 4.5-5cm!? Not fair! The good news though was that my doctor said at 4-5 cm I could get an epidural. We had discussed this with our doctor a few weeks ago and she said we could get one. Initially we thought that we could not get an epidural, so this was good news to me!
So being at a 4-5 the hospital staff was going to send me down to "la sala de parto" - the delivery room where you "da la luz" or "give the light" - an interesting way of looking at it huh? We were getting ready to head down to the delivery room when the nurses looked at us and said, "Okay are you ready for your C-section?" John and I said,"NO." Apparently epidurals are so rare here that they thought if I was getting medicine, I must be getting a C-section. John thought he cleared up this problem with the nurses and we continued our trip to the delivery room. The same thing happened a couple of more times, and they even tried to wheel me into the C-section room. Thank goodness John had seen the delivery room before I was wheeled down there so he knew they were
taking me to the wrong room!
As we made it to the delivery room, I was wondering if I was going to survive this delivery. Once we got there they moved me to the delivery bed which had wood side rails! Not something I've seen before. Now I was really starting to get worried. Another doctor who worked with our doctor was in charge of me until my doctor could come from clinic. This other doctor came in and checked me only to say that I was not at a 4.5 to 5 but only a 3 and she was not going to give me an epidural. She said I could not get an epidural until I was 5 or 6 or possibly 8 or 9! WHAT?!!! John was frustrated and inside I was livid! We were both confused as I knew John knew how to check me, and he would never have lied to me just to get an epidural - even if I wanted him to.
We sat there for what seemed like forever, which was only 30 minutes or so, until our doctor arrived. She immediately checked me and agreed with John that I was at a 5 and we could get our epidural right away. John and I were both relieved to say the least! I got my epidural - which was a little different from my last two. Instead of having a constant regulated dose, I just recieved one dose of medication and if I wanted more, I would have had to ask and get more - it was not a constant drip. So, this might have been nice to know before delivery. This explains why the end of delivery was more painful than I had remembered the others being. It worked out perfectly though. It was just enough medication to take the edge off, but I was still able to walk right after delivery. I think this is the way to go.
After I got the epidural my doctor broke my water, and within an hour Hudson was here! The cool part was that John got to deliver our son. John helped me make it through the last part of delivery, as there was no one there to count for me or hold my legs - just John and I. We pulled it off together. Little did I know that after John caught Hudson he nearly caught his scrubs on fire with the kerosene open-flamed heater that had been turned on to warm up the room for the baby. Apparently they had set up the heater about 3 feet in back of where John was delivering but they did not tell him. When he stepped back after delivering Hudson, he noticed that his leg was feeling quite warm. He looked down and there was the flame and three holes burned into the scrubs that they'd given him. Craziness!
Finallly, Hudson Elias Washburn was born on July 3rd at 1:05pm weighing in at 5lbs, 14oz. What a tiny little guy! We both thought for sure he would be bigger than that, but I did only gain 25 lbs with this pregnancy. All of the walking we did over these last few weeks kept me from gaining weight I think.
If you're interested in why we chose his name, we really admire Hudson Taylor and his willingness to be one of the first missionaries to serve God in central China. He inspired many people to serve God including Nate Saint and Billy Graham. There are many very interesting books about him if you'd like to learn more. Hudson's middle name is Spanish for Elijah and means "The Lord is my God". We hope that someday Hudson will make the Lord his God and that he will serve Him wherever the Lord leads him to serve.
So shortly after delivery they wisked Hudson away saying they wanted to keep him for observation. John explained to the pediatrician that we wanted to breastfeed, and the pediatrician said, "No problem," and that he would be right up - so three hours later Hudson still was not in our room! John had to hunt around the hospital to find our son and once he did they told him he would be up to our room at 4pm. So at 4pm he was still not there and we sure did miss him! At about 5 pm he finally arrived in our room. Things just work a little differently here - that is all there is to it.
We were happy to have our little guy and we left the hospital the next day. I did take a few pictures of our hospital room. We had a TV which was in purple because it was a little old but otherwise worked fine. The room had a bathroom attached with a shower, but it wasn't stocked. There were no towels or soap which made washing our hands a little interesting, but again it worked out. I cannot complain though becuase John had a couch to sleep on and I had a bed that was electric and could move up and down!
This was one of the nicest hospitals in Arequipa and we feel blessed to have had Hudson here. As the fourth of the July rolled around the next day I felt a much deeper gratitude and appreciation for our country.
The kids have still been really sick so we started treatment for Giardia yesterday. They have definitely improved over the last 24 hours so we are hoping this solves our problem. Poor Caleb has lost a fair amount of weight, and Hannah has been super grumpy - understandably so. We have had some LONG days and nights with our sick children and our new little guy. Pray that we can all get healthy again!