Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A tine to say thank you, posts about birth in US History and back to Haiti in two weeks.

This is the last of my writings on SE Asia, for now.   I want to thank all the people who helped me in Cambodia, Vietnam and here in the United States.  So many people donated money to help buy medical equipment at various fundraisers including the Cambodia Picnic and the Garden Party at my house.   There were also many people who donated money when my grandson, Nathan, died.  Each contribution made it possible for me to give an ambu bag and training to the midwives and communities you met in my writing.   It is my hope that, in addition to Helping Babies Breathe, they took away a greater understanding of skin to skin contact after birth,  the importance of early breastfeeding and how to remedy a shoulder dystocia.

For me, the trip was full of joy as well as heartbreaking memories of the wars there.  I came to see those years through the people I met's eyes and so increased my understanding.   To meet and stay with my children's families was incredible.   My life is so much richer for knowing them and living with them.  I loved talking with the older women and midwives about birth in their communities. It gave me a rich perspective on birth.

In two weeks, I will land in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti where i will take a boat to the island of La Gonave.  There I will help Haiti Outreach set up their birth center.  I met two midwifery students, last year at Midwives for Haiti, who are the new midwives of this center.  They left their homes and families for one year to train for this position.  I hope I can help them to use their education well and to support them in feeling confident to serve in that capacity.  I will be there for 8-10 weeks.  

I will collect stories there of birth, geography and people and how they help me to better understand the world.   Since I was very young, writing was my constant companion and means of sorting out my world.  That anyone reads what I write, is a wonder to me but sometimes when it seems very hard, it is a comforting support. I also hope to formulate a handbook on setting up a rural, low resource birth center that perhaps others might be able to use.

In the next weeks I am posting a series of birth stories about US history.  They are historical fiction at best and in rough form but I wanted to share them with whoever might be entertained by them.  I drove around the US having a lot of fun collecting facts and then creating fictional accounts of births.  I love history and so it entertained me a great deal.

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