It seems like death and life are so closely intertwined here. Three times yesterday, I saw babies enter the world to the eerie tune of the "death wail" just outside the window where these women were giving birth.. As people left this earth in one room, new ones entered in the labor and delivery ward.
I spent all day at the local hospital as a volunteer doula. I walked in on the birth of twin baby girls. They were about 6lbs each and born vaginally. It was awesome. After the babies, the mom hemorrhaged and was quite weak afterwards. I got to be her extra hands for the first couple of hours, cleaning little meconium bottoms and holding the babies while mom washed up.
Another little baby was named after me. I spent a lot of time with this mom, from the time she was 2 centimetres until after her baby was born. At one point, she had not made much progress for a few hours and the baby was very high up and posterior. We worked on movements and positions she could do to help with this and it was so exciting seeing that within a few hours her baby had turned over and was engaged. Little Kimberly was born up to her chest before I could get anyone to come help.
Then there was the girl who walked in just a half hour before I left. She came in with a friend, who promptly got kicked out (hospital rules). After a few minutes everyone suspected that this first time mom just might be pretty close to delivering. Sure enough, ten minutes after she arrived she was completely dilated and ready to push. I got to hold her hand and talk her through what was happening and then watch her as she giggled in delight over her precious new baby boy on her chest.
It is such an blessing to be able to be with these bright smiling, beautiful, and strong ladies as they become mothers. I love being able to be kindness and love to them. It is just plain old fun.