Florence has been working with us in Amecet for many years, she was one of the senior staff members. She left the end of May 2011, because of being pregnant of her first baby. We do miss her!Thursday morning at 4 am I got a phone call from her husband, the labour pains were beginning, if I could help them getting to the clinic. Together with Rose and Veronika, who I woke up to go with me, we drove to their house. Things look very different at night! I couldn't find their house, I was happy that I was not alone in the car! But we did find them and I drove them to the clinic. At first there was no nurse to find, but then she was admitted. We stayed with her for some hours, then I went home, because Sarah and Helen had to go to school and were still sleeping. The next day, we checked on them several times, not much was happening. Then at around 3 pm I got again a call, they referred them to the Soroti hospital. I went to pick them and brought them to the maternity ward. They checked her and told her to wait till the contractions were more severe. The ward was over crowded, everywhere people, baby's, pregnant ladies and nervous relatives. At first Florence was laying in the delivery room, on one of the tables there. In this room are 3 examination tables, divided by a curtain only. There is no privacy. In the time we were there we saw several baby's being born. People walk in and out. You can see on the picture here, that at that time there are two ladies waiting for their baby to be born. In the corner is a place where the new born baby's are laid, there is a warming element above it. After the doctor examined Florence, they told her to rest for 4 hours.. But there were no beds, everything was full, but we were able to get a bed for Florence, there were even mothers with new born baby's laying on a mat on the floor (which is not so very clean). We went home and at 10 pm I went back to the hospital with Carlijn (Dutch volunteer nurse) and Esther. They checked Florence again and she was put on IV drip. For 6 hours she was laying in this delivery room, with Carlijn and me standing next to her and Esther and her husband sitting on the corridor (which was full with sleeping people everywhere) It is not common here that the husband is with his wife during the labour. It was quite an interesting time, several ladies came in and out the delivery room. Some pre mature babies van 1,5 kg and 2 kg were brought in, they came from the theatre, where they do Cesarean. It is so different here, then in the West. The midwife was a bit tough, the ladies in labour are not allowed to make a lot of noise or to cry, she told me that the Ugandan ladies have to be strong!!! And I tell you, they are strong!! At around 3.00 am the midwife called the doctor to come and see Florence, because there was no progress, even the contractions were more strong and more frequent. The doctor decided that a Cesarean operation was necessary. It was sad, but I think, also a good decision. Florence was getting tired and the baby wanted to get out. I left the hospital at around 4 am, Carlijn and Esther stayed with Florence. The husband was given a list with drugs etc. he had to buy for the operation (it was 3.30 am!) he went shopping!
The baby was born around 4.45 am, a healthy baby girl who weights 3.2 kg.A little bit later Florence was brought back to the ward and she is also doing well.I know that giving birth is a risky thing in Uganda, but after all those hours I spent in this delivery room I know that it takes a lot!I am so happy for this little family that everything went well and I pray this little girl will bring them a lot of joy.
Esther holds the new baby.