July 14th, 2017
I walked into Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital (TQMH) not knowing what the day would hold. Luckily, it held the confirmation I needed for my future as a midwife and nurse practitioner. I helped deliver my first baby and now know this is exactly what I want to do with my life. When I first walked into the room Wednesday morning, Gloria, a 24 year old woman from Mampong, was 8 centimeters dilated and was shaking in pain. I immediately sprung into action and started giving her a sacral massage to help alleviate her pain. While talking with her and reading through her files, I discovered that she had successfully delivered a baby girl 4 years prior and was expecting her first boy. It felt like just moments after I arrived that word of moving Gloria to the delivery room spread across the labor and delivery floor. Louisa was the midwife on duty, and had only delivered 2 babies prior to Gloria's. Despite her lack of experience, she worked with Gloria and her team as if she was a seasoned professional. Being the strong woman that she is, Gloria, dressed in a brightly colored dress and with her hair sticking straight up as if she was just electrocuted, walked herself to the delivery room and slowly hopped up on the table with minimal help from me or Louisa. It wasn't long after she had been administered oxytocin that her contractions began to strengthen and the active labor truly began. Unlike what's portrayed in the movies, birth is in reality neither fast not clean. Gloria was admitted at 5:24 AM and it wasn't until 11:27 that she saw her baby boy for the first time. I took pride in helping Louisa prepare the delivery area with all the essential tools and medicines for the process, rubbing Louisa's veins to ensure the IV was flowing without fault throughout the labor, and supporting Gloria both physically and verbally throughout her time at TQMH. After I'm sure what felt like eternity to Gloria, her beautiful baby boy named Kweku weighing 7 pounds 7 ounces finally had his first breath in the world. After watching a nurse calculate the baby's APGAR score and dressing Kweku, I wheeled Gloria to the postnatal ward and brought her new baby to her. The look on her face was one I had never seen before: so genuinely joyous and pure. It was then that I knew I would be doing this forever, and I owed it all to Gloria and Lousia for giving me a small glimpse of the beauty my future held.
I'll miss you Ghana,
Adapting to a different lifestyle
An overview of our morning at the busy market in Accra during our first day in Ghana!
the moment that I realized I was in an interesting predicament
FACS' Lewis leads interdisciplinary team investigating impact of egg consumption in children
Lynn Bailey chosen to lead Gates Foundation-backed effort to improve developing countries