Our newest addition to Abundant Grace of God activities! As midwives we are blessed to be instrumental in preventing unnecessary deaths and trauma for babies during their deliveries. We even help give advice into their first 6 weeks of life. Unfortunately we have seen a number of the babies that delivered safe and sound at our clinic go on suffer from preventable illnesses after their last post-partum check-up.
In fact, we heard just a few weeks ago that a baby from one of our adopted villages that was delivered at our clinic in 2008, died from diarrhea and dehydration. I wish I could say that this is an isolated case, but in fact it is not. We have seen numerous babies that have delivered at our clinic go on to suffer from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, malnutrition, pneumonia, malaria and tuberculosis.
As clinic staff we have been grieved to see the pain and loss in the lives of our patients. Knowing our patients personally we know that it is not apathy or a lack of love for their children that leads to these untimely deaths, rather it is lack of knowledge.
Unicef stated, “As many as 40 per cent of child deaths could be prevented with improved family and community care – not high-tech health equipment, but access to solid knowledge, support and basic supplies.”
We as staff members of Abundant Grace of God have discussed how we could possibly help with this problem and came up with the idea to start with basic education for parents regarding keeping their children healthy.
February 5 was our very first Well-Baby Seminar. We had 18 women in attendance to listen to guest speaker Cathee Mapes share about recognizing common childhood illnesses. It was a huge success and we look forward to the next seminar on March 5.
Christmas is just days away – although we have been playing Christmas music here in the Philippines since September! We have so much to be thankful for this year.
We are thankful for:
• the 200 plus babies being delivered safely at our clinic.
• Marivic and B-lyn passing their board exams and becoming full-fledged Registered Midwives!
• our wonderful midwives Anie and Karen Grace for joining our team and sharing their lives and skills with the women and families of Kalinga.
• volunteers Sara and Kayla learning how to become midwives in order to serve God in the far flung areas of the world.
• Crystal coming all the way from the US to deliver baby Lucas and help me run the clinic.
• Belen, who helps take care of my family and makes it possible for me to continue directing the Abundant Grace clinic.
• all of our supporters through prayers and finances who make this clinic possible.
• Jesus, whose birth, death and resurrection is the most amazing thing to ever happen to any of us!
Lina and baby Abira left our clinic today and went home to their village of Lacnog. They stayed here for almost three weeks recovering from their ordeal and Abira gained almost a half kilo.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. We will continue praying that Abira will keep breastfeeding well and gaining weight daily and Lina’s blood pressure will continue to come down until it has returned to normal. Enjoy the picture we took of the two of them just before they went home – note Lina’s big smile!
Earlier this week B-lyn (one of our midwives) texted to say that her mother was on her way to the hospital. Her mother Lina had developed severe pre-eclampsia at only 6 1/2 months pregnant. Pre-eclampsia is a dangerous disease of pregnancy for which there is no cure. The only way to prevent convulsions and multi-organ failure is to deliver the baby. It was an incredibly hard decision for B-lyn’s family to make, whether to terminate the pregnancy or see if Lina could hang on for a few more weeks in order for the baby to develop. Lina’s condition rapidly deteriorated after 2 days in the hospital and the only decision that made sense was to have an emergency C-section. I sent out an email to all of our prayer supporters asking them to pray for a miracle, that somehow this little baby would survive. There are no incubators at the local hospital, and emergency care for preemies is almost nonexistent.
March 16 at 8 pm baby Abira Nessa came into the world crying like a champ! I was able to attend the C-section and helped take care baby Abira after she was born. She weighed in at 3 ½ pounds and showed no signs of respiratory distress. Absolutely amazing!!
Please continue to pray as Lina and baby Abira are still at the hospital recovering. Lina is downstairs and the baby is upstairs – they haven’t even been allowed to meet each other yet! Please pray that the doctors will have wisdom and make good decisions for both of them.
Please pray that the family will find the money to pay all of their hospital bills as they will no doubt amount to more than the family could hope to make in a year.If you would like to help with Lina and baby Abira’s hospital bills, you can donate through paypal (click on the donate icon) and include a note designating it for the Pullis family. I will make sure that every penny gets to the family.
It is a record for us! Every mother has her own unique story and I want to share one of them with you. Martha’s story is typical of the Kalinga tribal women and it embodies well the reason I am so passionate about our work here. Martha is a 35-year old mother of nine. She and her family live in one of the surrounding resettlement villages that we reach out to on a regular basis. At the beginning of her pregnancy we took her history and found out that she had delivered all her children at home alone. Her second to last child died shortly after birth and at her last delivery she almost died from a serious complication. We went regularly to her village and did prenatals for her and the other women who were expecting. In this village we are always warmly received for prenatal care and health teachings, but rarely asked to attend births. We were all so excited last week when Martha and her husband chose to deliver at our clinic! Her 10th baby is a beautiful boy named Jacob, who was delivered with gentleness and compassion by one of our visiting midwifery students from Davao. Here is a picture of Martha, baby Jacob and some of her other children at her home during our postpartum visit.