I was called to another birth on Friday. It was 4pm, not even the middle of the night. So I thought I better jump on the opportunity to go help out. When I arrived I found out this was an 18 year old girl delivering her first baby. She was outside walking around and had been found to be 8cm dilated.
She wanted to have a rest and came back inside to sit down. They checked her again and had me check her. Again I am no good at this part. I must need much more practice. Aparantly she was 9 centimeters. Shortly after this she expressed a desire to eat something so her friend went off to find some food. When it arrived she sat down to have a snack.
After that she was tired again and wanted to go in and lie down. She was told she need to walk to get her contractions going. They were coming, but not real close together. Like any first time mother, she did not want them closer together or to feel any more pain. But she was very brave.
Here sit the three midwives/nurses waiting for things to progress... When she got so tired she had to lie down, they hooked her up to an IV and gave her some pitocin to make the contractions come along faster.
Here came the difficult part of the delivery for me. As we had checked her the nurse commented on her circumcision. It is very common practice here in Mali for a girl to be circumcised in her childhood. Unfortunately for this girl, she was sewn up too small to allow for this baby to be born. As the baby began to crown the midwifes had to perform an episiotomy to allow the baby through. This makes me so sad. It is a very traumatic experience when a girl gets circumcised, and now in childbirth it becomes more traumatic again because of this. There was no anisthetic used to aid in pain relief either.
A healthy girl was born around 6:30pm. I asked them what the sex was so that the mom could hear. Then after the baby was weighed and left on the scale, I asked if I could hold her. I took her over the the mom and showed her beautiful baby to her. That part gave me great joy.
Pray for me as I plan to talk to the midwives about working on educating their patients about the negative effects of female circumcision.