December has come and gone and it has taken along with it the holidays and most of January. I have been back in Washington state since mid December and enjoying getting to see my two sons, daughter-n-law and granddaughter. While here I have been staying with close friends and also at my sons home. I am really thankful to have gotten to spend Christmas with my kids, we were only missing one this year.
Being able to watch my granddaughter experience her first Christmas morning and watching my son and his wife experience it with her, well, that was my favorite gift this season. We spent Christmas Day at my favorite cousins house with much food and more laughter and presents too! I was really surprised and blessed for Christmas, my kids gave me a kit bag for my midwifery supplies along with a nook, complete with accessories and a gift card to build my library, both will come in handy over the coming months.
We have brought in the new year with much cooking and baking and candy making (which is still going on this week) some of these are traditions that go back generations in our family, a blessed season to be sure! I have spent a good amount of time with my daughter-n-law sharing lots of laughter and good conversations, in the kitchen, at coffee shops and a few adventures too. I am just so blessed to be part of such a great family, my kids are the best. I have gotten to watch my granddaughter learning to walk and we have spent much time together getting to know one another…its been pretty freAking awesome!
It has been a short and sweet season of being with family and friends here, I am so thankful for those that continue to love and support me.
That season is coming quickly to a close as I enter into the beginning of my clinical training.
During my academic course my classmates and I spent much time pondering and talking about prospective internships. Just finding potential internship opportunities is somewhat daunting to say the least. For me it seemed that an overseas internship in a developing nation would be the best fit. Near the end of our course it was looking like I would be able to go to two different clinic sites and get a good portion of my clinical requirements met. Although, I will have more clinical training to do upon my return and do not yet know if I will do that stateside or go back overseas again to finish. Some of the determining factors for finishing my clinical work will depend on what options open up for me, and also financially, what kind of resources I will have at that time to house and feed myself while completing my training.
As of this week I have started finalizing the first of my clinical internships. I will be leaving Feb 7th for a 5 week internship with Mercy In Action in Olongapo, Philippines. This is who I did my academic session with and I am very excited to be able to go and train under Vicki Penwell the founder of the school, along with my instructors Ian and Rose Penwell from the fall academic session and the staff midwives in the Philippines. Although this is a relatively short internship I hope to get a good start on my clinical training. Vicki and her crew have been taking care of mothers and babies for many years in the Philippines, there is much for me to glean from them regarding midwifery care both in general terms and in developing countries. I feel as though I am being trained under one of the great midwives of our day.
I will return from the Philippines to the U.S. for about 2-3 weeks at the end of March, then leave for Haiti around the second week of April, (I have not yet finalized my itinerary for this portion). This will be a 3 month internship at Mama Baby Haiti in Carrefour Morne Rouge, Haiti. I am equally excited for this opportunity as well, it is a busy birth center and I expect to learn and experience much during my time there. I understand it is common for naturopathic doctors to volunteer there as well. I am hoping to couple my midwifery training with some practical knowledge in natural medicine while I am there, something I have been interested in for many years.
This may seem like quite a neat little package I’ve got tied up or am in the process of tying up. But I assure you, there is much yet to be done and I am in need of help with it.
The expense of travel and fees for both centers is far from pocket change. Also, the center in Haiti is quite young and not yet fully stocked with equipment and supplies they request I have my own birth kit and bring as many supply items as I can. This also is no small task….So I am asking for anyone reading this to consider partnering with me. You would not just be helping me personally but also those women and children I am going to be serving in the Philippines, Haiti and beyond.
The fees for Mercy in Action is $3,000, Mama Baby Haiti is $4,500; with estimated airfare, food, other personal/misc and monthly expenses, in country transportation fees etc. those combined with internship fees total to approximately $12,000.00.
I am able to receive tax-deductible donations as well as non-tax deductible donations. Tax deductible donations can be made online at the link below, just click the donate button and put my name in the memo box and it will get to me.
Below is the list that Mama Baby Haiti asks midwives and students to bring in their personal birth kit. This is a pretty big list, the cost of the items range from a few dollars to over $500.
If you would like to help with a specific need or item and want to know the cost please contact me directly.
I enjoy getting feedback from people, so feel free to email me or leave a comment.
Doppler with batteries
BP cuff and stethoscope
Watch with second hand
Head lamp (a must)
A small lantern for night births
Tape measure and wheel
Instruments for cord care and suturing
Cord clamp for each day you are here
Delee and clean bulb syringe
Box alcohol wipes
Pocket guide to pregnancy (Childbirth Graphics for you bag if you would like)
Baby sling and scale – we have some but might want in your bag
Box non-sterile gloves for each week here
5 Pair sterile gloves for each day here
Small hand sanitizer container – you can fill here
One box baby wipes
Three water proof WASHABLE underpads
Urinalysis sticks- one bottle
Method for testing hgb and glucose