Monday dawned humid and hot. When will we get relief from a rainstorm I wondered . The plan for Mondays is for me to spend a couple hours in the morning at our neighborhood medical clinic. I'm trying to get to know the women and learn some Bambara. Getting out the door is always a challange. After starting some laundry, greeting a few visitors, buying some mangos from a merchant girl, and preping my house help for the morning... I was off. My bike is the perfect transport to whip around our neighborhood. It keeps me active and my feet out of the sewer filled street. When I arrive at the clinic there is a long line of brightly clad women and babies, waiting for their turn to get their free baby vacinations. They greet me warmly and chatter happily amoungst themselves. After many clients have filed through I ask about one in particular who has not moved, nor has she recieved any shots for her baby. Oh her baby is tounge tied the nurse responds to me. I asked the woman how old her baby was. She said, "One week old.... No, ten days." she corrected herself. A few minutes later the nurse came out with scissors in hand. (You are not really going to clip her toungue right here on this porch are you I wonder?) Sure enough... she smacks the babies foot to make her cry, holds her toungue up with her fingers, and clips with the scissors. The baby fusses for a mintue and her mother offers her the comfort of her breast. All is well... the scissors go back to the delivery room for cutting the cord of the next newborn. (After being sterilized of course!) All in a days work!
Who knows why God has opened so many doors for me to work at the clinic. The midwives are more than willing to let me jump in and deliver a baby, even though I am not trained. As I continue to learn about labor and delivery, I like to encourage and pray for the women and children. I have now attended eight births. One of the needs for this clinic is hemostats and scissors. They only have two pairs of each, not enough to get them sterylized between deliveries if they are back to back. If you could help meet that need, this little clinic would sure appreciate it. I also give a newborn baby outfit to each new baby when I attend a birth. If you want to donate used newborn clothes, that would also be well received.