My day started with the sight of a neonate’s head stuck inside his mother. The functionality of a head first delivery is that the head dilates the way for the shoulders, hips and everything else that comes out. If it were not for the midwife (Caroline) and the MD (Mike), the newborn would have certainly died. After a few minutes of watching the struggle to get the head out, I was expecting a sad out come. With a few nifty maneuvers the baby was delivered. To my surprise the newborn was breathing, breathing infrequently, but breathing.
I started the generator, then the oxygen concentrator, and found the manual suction. It was pretty surreal to resuscitate a newborn in a tent. With in 20 minutes the baby was breathing normally and started to show signs of consciousness. Soon after he opened his eyes, after jumping feet first into the world
This baby was enormous, 4 kg plus, which would explain part of the difficult delivery. Though healthy looking, large newborns can be a symptom of pregnancy induced diabetes Mellitus – one of many reasons to support prenatal programs. Pregnancy induced diabetes one of many issues that can be detected and often controlled by lifestyle adjustment or medication.
Later the newborn and his mother were admitted into the impatient ward. Caroline the midwife carried the newborn with a huge smile on her face. The mother picked up three rolled up mats, a jerry-can of oil and marched her self 100 metres to the IPD, full of energy and stamina. This child was the ninth delivery from this rather young looking mother. Women in the Sudan never seem to stop working.
Once settled, the mother asked everyone on the 5-bed ward his or her name. She asked me last through translation of a Sudanese nurse named Halima. She decided to name her ninth child "Kevin". I was very surprised. I did not know what to make of this honor but smelled a bit of trouble. Halima explained that it was a tradition for the person to buy a gift if the child was named after them – typically a sheep. A sheep is 100 pounds, which I could easily afford, and willing to purchase. I was concerned that naming children "Kevin" would be a phenomenon, creating a new industry at the cost of my foreign name and presence. So I took the opportunity to explain to the mother that it was Dr. Mike who actually delivered the baby... I just set up the equipment. After a discussion with her mother she decided that "Kevin" sounds better. So "Kevin" it was.
The following day, I asked the baby "Is-much-minook?" (What is your name?). The mother perhaps forgetting my name, asked me to name the child. I decided on a nice Sudanese name: "Seif" after my translator. Seif shaking his head at the declaration stated that should still be my responsibility to purchase the sheep. I have left a message with Caroline to ask: "is-much-minook" at the follow-up appointment to see if Seif and I are out of trouble.
Post Delivery Day 3: The baby’s name is still Seif, and I will purchase the sheep.