Different Gifts But The Same Spirit
A team from Lehigh Valley Health Network recently returned from a week long visit to HCBH. The teams focus was labor and delivery and mother and baby care.
Melissa discussed the importance of nutrition during pregnancy. This can be a difficult topic to teach because of the limited resources the women have. They may not be able to stay hydrated or eat balanced meals as we suggest. She also discussed signs and symptoms of labor and preeclampsia. Mary Kelly did a phenomenal session on breastfeeding and the recommendation of continuing for 2 years. Many of the Haitian women balked at this saying “these are my breasts” and “they’ll be down to my knees!” Dr. Pellini did an open question/answer session with the women. They seemed to really embrace this and asked a wide range of questions including how to cope with emotional feelings after a fetal loss. It was amazing how open they were with their questions, especially in front of a large group of people. Dr. Pellini also really enjoyed this and said he could do that all day.
There was one woman who delivered on Friday who revealed she was concerned that her milk hadn’t come in. Mary Kelly walked with the patient over to NICU and helped her breastfeed. She showed the woman how to express milk and the woman felt so much better. The nurses do have access to a Doppler to listen to the baby’s heartbeat but choose to use a fetalscope (similar to a stethoscope) because that is what they are used to. Melissa was able to teach them how to use the Doppler more efficiently. However, we all know new methods are difficult to embrace sometimes. The physician and nurses both really desire a fetal monitor. This is something we would love to provide them, but with that would require intense training on reading fetal monitor tracings. They also really need more space. The delivery room is small, with two beds side by side. They have one infant warmer that does not work, something the nurses asked if we could fix.
Tonya did an education session on preeclampsia for approximately 8 nurses and a physician. The hospital staff truly are wonderful. They take great care of their patients with the resources they have.
Reflection written by team member Melissa Motz:
I’ve been trying to think of the perfect words to describe how amazing this past week was. A friend asked me “When you think of Haiti, what is the first thing you think of?” My answer? The people. First, the other volunteers at the village we stayed at were incredible. Their faith and trust in God, which helped guide them to this path was inspiring. I only met them 1 week ago, yet I know I’ve created life long friendships. Next would be the staff at the hospital. They were so appreciative and gracious to us. On the last day, they threw us a goodbye party. These people live with such limited resources. Some of them travel almost 2 hours each way to get to work. Some have no hot water. Yet they spent the time to write signs for us in English, bought each of us gifts, and decorated the room like royalty was visiting. I felt it took awhile for them to warm up to us, but at that moment I knew we had connected with them and that my journey with them was not over. Lastly, the team I traveled with was wonderful. We each brought individual skills with us, but were easily able to collaborate in order to support the staff in the best possible way. It’s amazing how much you can learn from each other when there’s no tv and limited internet. You take the time to have conversations and reflect on your thoughts. Oh, and I became a pro at the card game Hearts! I am truly in awe of the support we have received at home. To everyone who donated, we took 4 huge suitcases filled with supplies. When we delivered the cardiac monitor the staff actually cheered in excitement and had huge smiles. This past week was such an incredible adventure that I cannot stop thinking about. The purpose of this trip was to educate and support the hospital staff, but ultimately I came back a better person. I will go back. No doubt about it.
Melissa couldn’t have said it better about each team member bringing individual skills but when they come together it serves God’s greater plan!
1 Corinthians 12:4-5 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.