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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Update - Thai Hospital Experience

**Caution - the following update is full of stuff that mostly only my mother and other women will care to read...so fellows...feel free to skim as necessary...guilt free... ** :)

It's taken a while but I'm finally feeling up to putting up a small update! Sorry it's taking so long! Jude is a wonderful wonderful baby! Dare I say "easy baby"? It's only the first week and so far he is being so nice to mommy and daddy! He only cries when he is hungry or poopy and it's only a short little cry and that's it! Jude was born weighing 6.9 pounds and about 20 inches long.

We went in for the c-section November 16th and everything went as planned. When we got there we checked in and went to our room where I got ready for surgery. We had a wonderful room and the hospital was very very nice even though there were quite a few modern conveniences that were not available such as an electric hospital bed. Anytime I needed to have my head raised or move at all John would have to crank one of the three levers to my liking...it was quite funny although annoying at times (see picture below). I was feeling quite nervous right before we went in but John, Katherine and MaryBeth were great at helping me feel better.

A good Dr. friend of ours was able to be in the operating room while the baby was delivered and she video taped the whole thing - the whole c-section procedure amazes me - seeing my stomach cut open and the whole thing just amazes me!!!! Anyway, after my spinal block I couldn't feel anything below my chest and things were going great until I started feeling like I was going to throw up - I kept gagging...and my muscles started kinda freaking out in my neck and I started to feel a wee bit scared.

It was just an uncontrolable situation and I couldn't stop gagging - I was awake enough to know everything was ok but the feeling was just very scary...the gagging stopped eventually although the muscle spasms or whatever it was in my shoulders and neck did not - so my sweet anestesiologist started rubbing my shoulders!

Well about 30 minutes into the procedure baby Jude is brought out of the womb and much to everyones suprise he was BREECH (feet comes out first instead of head)!!!! 2 weeks ago I had an ultrasound and he was in the correct position but he had turned around - so when he came out there was a bit of a struggle getting his head out but he came out just fine but had a little bit of amniotic fluid in his lungs - which they say is normal and they would just monitor to make sure it all came out.

Baby Jude was then wisked off and cleaned up and given his shots. One of the things that we also had to make a decision on was the fact that the BCG is required here (Tuberculosis vaccine) which leaves a permenant scar on the arm for the rest of the infants life. He then spent some time in an incubator after saying hi to me. They wanted to keep him in the incubator for 6 hours but we had arranged for this not to happen. It is Thai belief that babies must stay in an incubator for at least 6 hours so that their body temperatures can adjust...which is very contrary to the more western thinking in America where a baby is brought out of the womb and laid on the mothers chest straight away...maybe being taken away to be cleaned up and then returned.

The hospital stay was quite an experience - mostly good - although at times it was extremely frustrating because of different cultural practices and language issues. For instance some of the nurses refused to give me any cold water - there is a hot water dispenser beside the bed and when I took medicine some of the nurses refused to let me have anything but warm/hot water to take my medicine with because they believe it is bad for the mother and the baby to have cold water or cold food.

Another thing we delt with everytime they would come to get the baby for a bath (which they wanted to bathe Jude 3 times a day (by Thai culture this is standard) - but we only let them once a day) we told them not to feed the baby any formula because we were breastfeeding and everytime he returned he would be full as a tick and would spit up the formula they had given him.

This occured every time except for once despite continuous communication about this because in their culture they give the baby formula and water for the first couple of days until the mother's milk has come in - dispite the fact that the mother is producing enough colostrum to feed the baby, letting the baby suck aids your milk in coming in faster and it prevents engorgement.

Anyway, no matter how clear we made it the baby was still given formula when he was taken out of our sight. It was frustrating at the time but we're home now and that's over with. There were many other small things that were simply cultural differences that made our stay difficult but I am grateful for the care we received and am very thankful for the experience we had because we both know that it could DEFINATELY have been a lot worse!!!

Jude is healthy and I'm on the way to full recovery! Hahaha - this was going to be a short update...ha! John is taking the next 2 weeks off from going to the villages to help me at home - we'll be taking lots of photos so keep checking back. Please keep us in prayer for strength and patience during this time of adjustment to our new life with Jude and also that eventhough John will not be going to the villages and I won't be getting out much that we would still have opportunities to reach out.

Our team is preparing to visit schools during the whole month of December to share God's love and the true meaning of Christmas. Every Tuesday night I was going out with the other women on the team minstering to the prostitutes (haven't been able to go for about a month or so now because of being too pregnant) but recently God has really opened up doors and Katherine and Amber are having many girls reaching out to have relationships with them and are wanting to know more about the truth!

As soon as my body allows I will be joining them every Tuesday night and I am asking that you please keep this in your prayers so that these women will be set free from this lifestyle and come to know the truth about God and His plans and love for them. We are also praying about opening a free Saturday English school for these women to come to (which will be proceeded by teachings about Jesus, the truth and prayer). Prostitutes here are extremely eager to learn English because it will help them with their customers. We desperatly need wisdom about this!

Anyway, I must return to bed - Thank you again for your comments and e-mails! I can't get enough! :) I hope this has made sense (I've had to save and return 3 times!) and I also hope that it does not come off as if we are complaining about our hospital experience - I am very grateful and I know my mom, family and some friends are wanting to know all these little details on how it was having a baby in Thailand :) I will be in touch soon - please don't forget to keep us in your prayers!

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