28 September 2011

Hit the Ground Running

I returned to Thailand the end of July and was immediately back to life away from apprenticeship and no sleep. Here's a summary of all that's been going on. Pictures and individual posts on each to come later (in my spare time HA!).

Apprenticeship: There will be a much bigger post about this later. 50 days in Bali and 40 births! After 2 years of apprenticeship there, a total of 100 births under my belt. So many life-changing experiences. I left with confidence!

World Breastfeeding Week: The first week of August saw me participating with breastfeeding events around Bangkok. One was a big media promo at a local hospital with lots of Thai celebrities that support breastfeeding. My family and I also attended a Thai breastfeeding flash mob at the biggest shopping mall. My children got their picture in one of the local papers.

Church: With 4 children in school, I can be more active in outreach ministries. The one in focus right now is at the Immigration Detention Center (IDC) aka PRISON for refugees and others. A group from our church goes to visit 1 hour a week with various detainees. Food is horrible, living conditions are deplorable. My visits were with Wesley, a wonderful man from Cameroon. We brought him and others fresh foods, laundry soap, shampoo, a Bible, and so much more. I was thrilled to be the one to tell Wesley that we were successful in getting him released and repatriated. 100s more (and many children there) are still waiting, with much more difficult situations with little hope of freedom in the near future.

Bangkok Birth & Beyond: I try to not be booked for more than one birth a month, but sometimes it's hard to say NO, especially when it's repeat clients! One in August, waiting for one in September. Two in October. One (many two) in November. I'm also already booked for 2 in April and one in May! Mix in a lot of private childbirth and breastfeeding visits, and I'm filling up my part-time hours quickly.

Foster Baby: I am doing foster care for a newborn that was born the end of August. Her mother first contacted me in May looking for options but heavily leaning towards abortion. I was able to counsel her and told her that I would support her however I could if she chose to give birth and arrange adoption. She gave birth to a beautiful 4.5 lb baby girl and was so happy to give her life. I caught her baby in the hospital! I am caring for the baby most days and nights. I have low breastmilk supply but can comfort nurse her while bottle feeding her donor breastmilk that amazing Thai women (that I've never met!) have gifted to us.

School for kids: Yay for four kids in school! Grace started 3rd grade and has an awesome artsy teacher that works with Grace's unique (dreamy) learning style. Isaiah started K5... pray for his teacher with 8 out of 12 in the class being very active little boys. The twins started K4 and are loving school. No tears for them!

Midwifery studies: With all of the above going on, I am barely able to focus on finishing this Masters of Midwifery Arts and Sciences with AAMI. The assignments I'm currently working on are geared towards sitting for the NARM exam next fall. I'm mentoring 3 other students, doing research, writing papers, creating protocols, and more.

CPM process: My apprenticeship is done, so all that I have left is compiling my protocols, informed consent document, and documents for practice. These papers plus finalized birth, newborn exam, etc. forms will all go with me to Bali in Christmas for signing and notarization with my preceptor.

Speaking of my preceptor... Robin Lim has been nominated for CNN Heroes 2011!!! Please go vote for her 10x a day from now until Dec. 7th. http://heroes.cnn.com/vote_en.aspx

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At 3:56 PM, Blogger AnnaY said...

Hi, I was just wondering if would be possible to contact you - what you are doing sounds wonderful! Email: ayahpae@gmail.com
Thanks, Anna

At 7:10 AM, Blogger Ashley Hurlburt, LMT & Birth Doula said...

Hi Erin! I'm also an AAMI student but I live a world away from you in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado :) I have a 7 year old daughter and I've been dreaming of going to Bali as a midwifery apprentice. How did you manage with your kiddos? I'm really trying to figure out how I can go abroad and work with populations in need when I have a child and I don't have connections to any other midwifery mamas who have done this. Any advice would be awesome!
Email: ladynirvana@hotmail.com

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Crystal said...

I'm a LM/CPM w/a dream to midwife over seas as a missionary. I'm a missionary kid myself. It looks like we have a lot in common so I i'm looking fwd to getting to know you more as I follow your blog.
I voted for Robin 10x today & am sharing it on FB.

Here's my health blog

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Umm Zakariya said...

Hi Erin, just discovered your blog and found it wonderful.

I have been a Doula for over 2 years. It really rare in my community. I would love to contact you and ask you a few questions on how you found balance between work and family and of course how your family adjust to living abroad.

contact: alif2yaa@gmail.com

At 11:59 PM, Blogger Midwife International said...

Wow! It's amazing how busy you are keeping and how much good you are doing for the world right now. 50 days in Bali and 40 births! Incredible.

We are working hard here at Midwife International as well; working to train midwives who are equipped to work in resource-constrained regions where maternal and child mortality is high and the need for professional midwives is greatest. For more information, please visit:


Thank you for all that you do! We wish you the best!

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Walker Mitchell said...

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