14 November 2009

Journal Day 33 - I sutured

I tried to journal every day and then caught up on journal entries after I got home. Some of the entries are too short or confusing and some are too scary or revealing. Keep in mind when reading any entries that this is a clinic in a 3rd world country with some high-risk mothers.

Here is Day 33.

Got called in early for a birth, and it turned into my 2nd primary; nice waterbirth but with tear needing stitching. "R" said, OK Erin you suture.... (EEK!!!) So I said, OK let's do it. They gave me size 7.5 gloves and after about 2 minutes of watching me struggle with them (I'd mentioned they were too big) they found me smaller ones to trade. Getting in the lidocaine [pain killer for suturing] wasn't hard; between "S" and "R" it worked OK; "R" was quite intense telling me to hurry up. Duh! Lidocaine only lasts 20 minutes! I had trouble with needle angles that I'll have to practice with. Afterwards I was quite "cotton mouthed" probably from the adrenaline of being up all night and suturing at 8am! "R" apologized for being too intense but I told her I totally understood with the limited time.

Three hours later was another baby. "R" and "D" helped me support the baby's head and try to protect a prior episiotomy scar. Baby was fine despite odd FHT's. "K" sutured and it was great to watch how precise she was!

Went out to dinner with friends and decided to walk home. It was totally dark. And we had to walk through Monkey Forest. Pitch black with 4 kids and stroller. I had to use the tiny light on my cellphone and we made it. It was so awesome to look up at a sky full of stars... so different to see Southern constellations!

Update - 4 months later. I have studied more suturing and am practicing at home with my equipment and expired suture material. I'm ready for more practice with supervision when we go back to Indonesia in Dec/Jan for 21 days. I still can't believe that in less than 5 weeks there I was actually ready to suture. I watched every other suturing job there and have watched at doula births here. "R" sutures with finger ties and very quick. "K" and "S" would suture and not use finger ties - they also went slower and would show me how they decided where to put the needle. "R" could suture in her sleep probably (and does kinda if she gets called at 2am to do a suturing too difficult for others).

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At 2:50 PM, Blogger Walker Mitchell said...

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