When things go wrong…

When we first came to Liberia many people told us not to worry about delivering babies… it’s a natural process.  Well, recently we found out what can happen when that natural process has a complication.

Our second delivery on the mission was of a baby girl to a mother who had 2 other children.  The healthy baby was delivered without a problem, the placenta shortly followed and appeared intact.  Things seemed to be going well, that is until about an hour after delivery.  The mother started hemorrhaging.   With the loss of blood, her blood pressure quickly dropped from 112/70 to 70/30.  As a nurse, this is when I’m thankful for my background in critical care.  We quickly started an IV and fluid boluses.  Her pressure started to come up.  We gave repeated doses of Oxytocin to try and stop the bleeding and promote the contraction of the uterus.  The mother started to stabilize, we thought we were in the clear.

A couple hours later, with her pressure stable and no more signs of bleeding, we started to move her around a bit, getting her cleaned up from the delivery.  Then she passed a large clot with more blood.  It was at this point we knew we needed to get her to the hospital, but it was already after dark- so getting her through the bush and across a river would be next to impossible.  We moved her into the exam room at the clinic, using a duffle bag and 4 strong men as her stretcher.  After communicating with our covering physician in St. Francis Hospital we hung more IV fluids and continuous infusions of Oxytocin and monitored her throughout the night.

By the morning the bleeding had slowed, but she was still passing large clots.  We put her and the new baby on a motorbike and sent them onto St. Francis where she could be examined more thoroughly for the cause of bleeding.

A home-delivery for this woman would have certainly not ended well.  As a result of the effort of clinic staff that night, mom and baby are back home and doing well.  None of this would have been possible, however, without the support of our donors- so THANK YOU for all the sacrifices you’ve made this year to not only get us started, but to help us continue the journey!