Monday, February 12, 2007

The Kiboga Hospital

Jackie and I headed to the hospital in Kiboga to visit her friend who was giving birth. She had been in the hospital a few days already, so I was curious to see what was going on. She has since been 'allowed to leave' (after spending more that a week 'in labour'...ugh!)

The hospital in Kiboga was unlike any I had seen - In all reality, it was just a large structure with walls. Jackie and I went looking for her friend in the birthing room. As soon as we walked in, I was overwhelmed at the amount of women! There were so many beds in the room and many were on the floor waiting to meet their babies. We were directed to another room, where we found her friend along with the friend's mother-in-law. In Ugandan culture, the mother of the husband is now the wife's mother and must support her through birth.

She was in a little discomfort, but definitely not ready to give birth. She really shouldn't have been in the hospital - I think she felt the baby moving and thought she was having sensations. The nurse had told her that she had to stay in the hospital because she was in labour and had no water in her body which was why her water had not yet broken! (So, she was convinced that she was in labour and there was something wrong) - It was a way to keep her in the hospital paying the fee. There was no water anywhere in the hospital to drink.

I brought out my massage oil and massaged her back and legs, then got her out of bed for a walk in the fresh air. Once we were back in the room, she had many questions which Jackie translated. She was worried that the baby wasn't coming because she had had sex while she was pregnant (Here, many midwives tell the women that they will kill their babies if they have sex during pregnancy!) So, the poor woman had sat there for a few days thinking that she had killed her baby! Jackie even said that many birthing women have been yelled at when their babies come out with "white stuff" - the nurses say it is a result of sex during pregnancy! I explained to her that all babies are born this way - the baby was kicking. Once I finally found some water, I added a vit supplement to the water and we left.

She has since come back appears she is not yet in labour : ) She lives just around the corner, so I have been able to visit adn see how she is doing.

1 comment:

Shaun said...

i love reading your posts, nat. incredible..