Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tae or Tao?

I witnessed my very first birth a couple of weeks ago... it was an interesting experience. The birth took place in a slum area that is currently getting built up again, because there was a fire in May that destroyed over 300 families' homes. This home was the size of a bedroom in the States. It housed a mom, dad, son, daughter-in-law, the new baby, and some chickens. The electricity still hasn't been completely restored since the fire, so the birthing room was lit by a battery-operated lamp. Terry (a Jesus Loves staff member) and I were waiting in the front area (it was separated by a plastic tarp) for the mother to be completely dialated. The room we were in was lit by a candle, and the mother-in-law was heating up water in a kettle on a concrete stand with a fire under it. It almost felt like I was in Jesus' time :)

When the mother was almost completely dialated, she got up, because she said she needed to poop. The midwife (one of my friends/ teacher at the foundation) told her to go ahead and poop in the arenola (a pot to pee/poo in if the toilet is too far from your room... I have one in my room, but have never used it). They were joking around with the mother in labor, telling her that after the poop/ tae comes out, the baby/ tao comes next. For this mother, it was just tao, because when the in-law checked the arenola, there was no poop. The part where the baby came out was so fast... she just slipped out. I've never seen anything like it before. The mom was exhausted afterward, she didn't really say anything... even during the birth, she didn't make any noise. The baby had a full head of hair, and had a cute little cry... she finally calmed down after she was cleaned, wrapped, and placed by her mothers side, and of course, the friends, neighbors, and relatives all peeked in to see the new baby, too.