Monday, October 15, 2012

Bringing Keira into the World

We left at 6am for a 6:30am check-in.   

This is my "early morning" look

Unfortunately, no one told us the hospital is gated closed until 7am.  We drove a city block looking for an entrance.  After asking a guard, we were told we were supposed to go to the EXIT gate and wait to be let in.

Well..of course.  How obvious!

Doug and I were taken to a room where they took my vitals and dressed me in a nice terry cloth robe before wheeling me through several hallways to the “theatre” (their word for operating room).

The “drug” lady (anesthesiologist) gave me a spinal (one of the best I’ve ever had) while my doctor prepped her team.  I, then, visited with both ladies while we waited for the drugs to take effect and while Doug got dressed.  I talked about where they like to vacation.  The “drug” lady is quite the adventurist.

I was laid on a table with both arms stretched out to the side on side tables, and a curtain was put in front of my face.  The pediatrician also came in to greet me and let me know he was there to check the baby when “it” came out.

The “drug” lady sat by my head administering meds and asking me continually how I felt.  It’s a good thing she was so cautious.  I was allergic to a couple of the medications, so she had to keep switching kinds to see what worked for me.

When I’ve been cut open before, the doctor has always “pulled” the baby out, but for some reason, a nurse was told to stand by my head and “push” down hard on my stomach to assist in the “pulling.”

I heard someone say the baby was out, and I asked Doug what “it” was, but he couldn’t see behind the curtain either.  When they brought “it” around, no one said anything.  Doug said, “It’s a girl!” then they took her away.

I asked what color hair she had, but Doug hadn’t looked that far north.

From this point on, I just lay there.  After giving her oxygen, a nurse held her down for a second where I saw her nose and forehead profile, but then she was gone again.  Doug followed her to another room where they warmed her, she saw her siblings and grandmother in the hall, but it was a couple of hours before I saw her again.

I declined “sleeping” drugs during recovery so I would be semi-alert if I ever got to see my daughter again J  I didn’t want to miss more than I had to.

After staying in the recovery room a while, they wheeled me to my room, but it was locked.  Doug and I had locked our belongings in there when we left.  So, I just lay on a gurney in the hall with four nationals standing around talking to me.  A bit awkward.

While we were waiting, the kids and my mom walked up, and thankfully, my mom had the key!

When Doug came with the baby, she still hadn’t had a bath, so we couldn’t tell her hair color, but my first thoughts were how small and beautiful she was.


My fist compared to her head
It was still 2 hours before we had a name for her.  

All-in-all, there wasn’t too much difference between a C-section in America and a C-section in Africa (at this particular hospital).

The differences were noted in nursing care.

Just like their culture here, they believe that the babies need to be bathed at 5:30am.  I asked them to wait until later in the day.

When the nurses came in, it was without a thermometer.  They asked if we had brought one (thanks, Jenny-Anne), and then asked Doug to take my temperature and Keira’s.  He then had to convert it to Celsius on his phone and tell them so they could record it.   This happened numerous times!

Another difference was the “get up” time.  In the States, I think I was given at least 24 hours in my bed before being made to get up and walk.  Here, I was given about 4 hours, and after the drugs wore off, they had me up and walking.  I think this is the reason that my stitches area doesn’t feel so good, even 10 days later, as I write this.

Around dinner time on the second evening, a nurse came to inform me that a “room was now available.”  I didn’t know we weren’t in the right room, but we told them we’d rather move the next morning.  But the next morning, the room had been taken, so we just told them we’d stay where we were. 

But 6 hours later, another opened, and they came to get us.

A lady came and took our bags on a rolling cart.  Doug and some friends followed her carrying other odds and ends.  She took off pretty fast, and Kylie said, “I can’t see them anymore.”  We weren’t given any other instructions about the move, except the room number.  We didn’t know quite what to do.

So, the kids pushed Keira in her rolling bed, my mom carried a vase of flowers, and I walked to the elevators, and we went up to the 2nd floor.  When we exited the elevator, the same lady who took the bags had a wheelchair and was apparently coming for me.  But of course, there had been no communication.

This room had hot air blowing out of an air condition unit, so Doug turned it off.  We didn’t want to open a window like we had upstairs, because Keira and I had both gotten bitten by mosquitos the night before.  And even though Doug got the A/C to blow a little better, it never felt like it got below 75, and I pretty much sweat the entire time I was there.  And after that first night, we requested a mosquito net for Keira’s crib, and that seemed to work okay.

The doctor told the nurses to make sure they covered my wound with plastic, so I could shower.  However, later the nurse told me the plastic wouldn’t work, so I asked if I could have a washcloth to wash myself.  I was informed I could have a “flannel,” but it would cost extra shillings. 

I didn’t know what a “flannel” was, but I said, “Okay.”

It turns out that a “flannel” is a washcloth, so I got half-way clean.

The food was wonderful.  I was given a menu each day to choose my meals, and lunch and dinner, I could choose a “starter” a main course and a dessert.  And even though the doctor wanted me on a certain diet, she let me monitor it, and order what I wanted.

I was brought two 1-liter bottles of water a day to drink and brush my teeth with.  And every morning I was brought a powdered mix to stir into my cup to drink, and every morning, I had to ask for a spoon to stir the mix and wait 30 minutes minimum for someone from food services to bring a spoon on a silver tray.  (All my meal orders were taken by someone dressed like a waiter, and all of my meals were delivered in a fancy fashion).

The line put into my arm to administer medicine to me was always getting stopped up and blocked because they don’t tape them like in the States where there are no kinks in the line.  They had to flush the line several times and each nurse coming in didn’t know the problem from the nurse before, so each nurse was surprised by the problem, and I had to re-explain it several times.

I’m SO glad that this wasn’t my first baby.  (You are my heroes Lindsay T and Lindsey P for having your first child here!)  It wasn’t until Day 4 that someone in passing said, “Is nursing coming okay?  Did you have any questions?”  I would have felt completely clueless if this had been my first.

When my first was born in Mississippi, a lactation specialist spent a lot of time with me showing me the right way for the baby to nurse, and helping me every step of the way.

On the day I was discharged, the doctor gave the nurses specific information of things that had to happen before I could be discharged.  NONE of them happened, except that I finally got to shower (the doctor was upset that they hadn’t covered me with plastic before now and let me shower).  I didn’t mention anything to anyone, because I was just ready to go home.

But what DID happen on the last day was a continuous line of random visits from hospital staff.

The floor director came by and wanted to know how the service and care had been.

The head of food services came in and wanted a testimony about what I thought of the food.

Four nurses came in, including the head of nurses, and she wanted me to give an oral report on my nursing care.

The fun part about the hospital stay was when the kids and my mom came up each day.  Caleb would run into the room first, and he wouldn’t even say “hi” to me.  He ran in the bathroom and washed his hands so he could be the first one to hold her.

The kids took 30 minute turns holding her.  Karis even skipped lunch twice so she could stay in the room and hold her longer, while everyone else went to the café.

Overall, it was a great stay.  Thank you for your continuous prayers.

Meet the Taylor 6!

 We are all back "home" and doing well, enjoying every minute with our sweet Keira. 

We have the birth certificate and the passport process is underway!


God is SO good!!!


This is our church in Arua.  I think I've showed you pictures before, but I thought I would do it again.

Also, you should never complain about how hard the pews are where you go to church...ever ;)

The church is held in a secondary classroom on the second floor of a boarding school.  During the school term, a lot of students join us, but when this picture was taken, school was not in session.
To be fair, this is the beginning of the service, and people trickle in for the first hour, so the room does indeed fill up.  

AND, since you really never see pictures of us dressed up or looking nice, we decided to dress up for church one day and take pictures for you to show that we can still "clean up good."  But since we don't have a family photographer, we had to take them in shifts :)

Never underestimate the power of chalk.

The first week of school in August, they decided to do this in their free time.

Caleb, with his giraffe

The girls riding their camels.

One of Doug's jobs that he handles so graciously is the hair-cutting of the family.  He does his and Caleb's hair quite often, but this was the first time he had cut the girls'.

A lady from California came last December and cut mine, so as of now, I'm desperately in need of a trim.

So...our first week in Nairobi, I took the girls and myself to a real hair-cutting place!

We all got our hair washed and cut, but the price was a lot more than I'm used to, even for the States.

Kylie was worried about the money, but I told her that since we haven't paid for haircuts in 2 1/2 years, this was just the added price for all the missed ones. 

Kylie also got an interesting retainer this summer to spread her upper jaw apart, in hopes that the bottom jaw will follow suit.

Before, with spacers

After.  Interesting.

One of our special churches in the States had a baby shower for us over skype.  They gathered together and ate OUR favorite foods right in front of us and showed us what different people had bought.

It was a lot of fun laughing together as we watched them enjoy our party.

This is us watching them.

That about wraps up summer.

Now, for the baby story...