This story is one I've hesitated to write about.
It has been a couple of weeks and the images are still haunting me...beware. If you are pregnant, please don't read this.
My heart in sharing this is to open your eyes to state maternal care around the world.
I walked into the labor and delivery ward one morning to find a teenage mom surrounded by midwives and nurses. Something was dangling between her legs. I attended to some ladies who were asking for tea.
After a few minutes a midwife stopped yelling at the girl and explained to me: "Her baby was breech, and she was not fully dilated when she pushed the baby out. We kept telling her not to push, but she did anyway and the baby got stuck at the head. Now the baby is dead and it is all her fault. It's dead and stuck there."
That is when my brain made sense of the baby's grey body that hung there. I asked if I could talk to the girl. They said sure.
I held her hand. I prayed with her. She asked me if it was a boy or a girl. I had to lift the dead baby's leg to check. No one had told her that it was a baby girl. At this point the medical staff were mad at her and just leaving her alone with her baby half born. She asked me to get the baby out. I explained that I could not do that.
Finally they hooked her up to pitocin and started yanking on the baby...and yanking and yanking and yelling at the poor girl. All the while I stroked her head, trying to be the presence of kindness in a horrific situation.
After about ten minutes of this, another midwife walked over and showed them how to hook the babies mouth with her finger and tilt the chin down while putting the other hand on the mom's belly. The dead baby popped right out.
This poor girl was terribly damaged "down there." While they stitched her up they gave her a lecture. It went something like..."This happened to you because you got pregnant out of wedlock, you deserve it and this is all your fault."
I came behind and tried to undo the damage. It was just awful. She wrapped up her dead baby, got dressed, and hobbled home a few hours later.
This has not been the "norm" here, sometimes I see a lot of kindness and skill. But this was downright awful and disturbing I wish that all women could be treated kindly and that all births ended happily. But, they don't.