Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Holy ground, sweet Esme.

I dont even know where to start. 

It was holy….

It was messy….

It was sacred….

It was hard….

It was a long day(s)?. Of possible inductions, and possible cesarian. We followed a midwife behind a curtain, past the screams of birthing mothers feet away, separated merely by that curtain. “You know your going to have surgery right?” the midwife proclaimed. Uwera retorted back “Why do you want to do surgery? Explain to me the reasons?” When the stunned nurse replied “We think the baby can be big, and your look small, maybe.” Uwera clicked her tongue and responded “I want to try to do it myself first.” So we agree’d that labor would be induced at 6:00am sharp. (She has become such an amazing women of God, with such a strong voice!! I have been amazed watching how she has used everything to stand strong, and dig her feet into the ground in the things she is passionate about and that matter.)

We went back to the room of active laboring mothers…… 

There is a small room with three beds. It just happened to be a time with many moms in active labor. So at any given time there was between 6-12 actively laboring moms in the room. When I found out they were not going to induce here I tag teamed in Ishimwe, and decided to encourage Uwera to try and get a corner of a bed to sleep as much as she could, and I would go home and try and catch a little sleep, and then would be back by 5:00am. 

After coming home, grabbing some quick late dinner, tucking the kids in bed, and finally falling asleep…. yep, you guessed it. 3:00am, my phone rings. “Tina, Uwera was vomiting, and has the very very strong pain, she says she needs you now.” So I did what any mom would do, and hopped out of bed, grabbed my jacket and purse and started trying to find a motto at 3:30am. I got to the hospital by 4:00am, and after some assurance, encouragement, we had a spot on bed. I was a human body pillow, or punching bag. They had moved a mattress onto the floor where 2-3 women were actively laboring. One was leaned against my leg and would randomly slap my leg. I told her “Do what you got to do. Squeeze my leg, slap it, rest on me. No problem.” Uwera had her head in my lap, and another women on the other side would alternate between slapping my arm, squeezing my arm or hand, and slapping the wall. 

We put on worship music on in labor room. It was surely holy ground. Uwera would grab my hand, squeeze me… “pray mom, pray!” 

Around 5am she fell asleep with her head in my lap, occasionally being awoken by contractions. But she rested. Till she popped up and said “Something broke.” Which I retorted “Nothings broke, everything is normal.” “No! My water broke.” We thought we had a long road after that, she wasn't dialed much. Thierry came, and I tag teamed with Ishimwe so that I could go talk to Thierry, about 8:25am. Then I get a call that the Dr was going to check her and she wanted me. I went back and she was insisting they check her. The nurses were insisting they just checked her at 7am, and she was no where near dialated enough. She looked at me and asked for them to do a cesarian. Right then I looked down “Is that the head?” 5 minutes of pushing, and Cyubahiro Cynthia Corrine Esme was born at 9:05am!

They laid her on Uwera’s chest, and she gasped, with tears “Mom God is so good! God is so good!” I cannot even tell you how incredible she was. What a trooper she was. No pain meds, not even a Tylenol. She was an amazing mama, that left me in awe. She said “I did it….. I cant believe I just did it!!” “I did it!!” 

It was holy ground……

It was hard…..

There was pain….

It was Sacred…. 

It brought forth new life….

And when Esme was born, a mother in Uwera was born too. A rock star mom might I add. I have been awed to watch her. 

(Side note- she asked me to write the birth story, and post it.) 

Sunday afternoon. . . 

Hospitals here are quiet different. It took us almost
all day on Monday to run around and get everything done. Little did
we know she already started active labor. Braxton hicks got us
all confused. 

Including running around to get all her supplies,
from IV's to IV fluids, to vitamin shots, to surgical gloves. 
In active labor. Seriously? 
Worship music playing, resting between contractions, moments
before her water broke. 
Wonderfully and fearfully made.
Cyubahiro Cynthia Corrine Esme. 


Wasnt to happy about being born. 

If you cannot read that, she was a whopping 3.85kg
For those unfamiliar with kg, thats about 8.5 lbs. 

Grandma carried her back to momma from
being weighed. Though momma was getting
herself collected. 
Proud rock star mama. I am in awe!! 


Ishimwe was always there, sleeping in the hallway,
or always a step away in case Uwera needed anything.
Best friend level - pro. 




From the time I held Uwera's hand in her 6 week ultrasound,
and saw the "babybean" for the first time. She has been
the baby bean. Only natural she would now be baby burrito. 



Monday, May 1, 2017

An open apology to my friends

We sat in the airport cafe, attempting to make the last hour linger a little longer. She has been my best friend for so long. She has loved me, laughed and cried with me. We have done bible studies together, and prayed together. I have ushered her kids into my home and hugged her as her husband scooted her off to the hospital to have her precious first boy. 

“I feel like we didn't get much time together this visit.” 
“It never does, does it?” 
“No, it never does.” 

I knew the time was sneaking up on me, and soon I would have to go through security. She would snap the car seat of her new baby in the car that I just met this trip, on her 45 minute ride home. I would board a plane, and begin a travel to the other side of the world that I called home. This last trip I came home a married women. Her the mom to another baby, I had yet to meet before this visit. 

I messaged her between international flights, and she responded with “It always hits me in waves when you go. I realize your gone, and its hard.” 

She has told me this before. But this time, for some reason it hit me on a different level. 

I realized that I come in like a whirlwind, and suddenly like that I am gone. For five years, I whirlwind in with trauma, tears, and desperately needing an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on. I start sleeping again, I start to function again, and just like that, I am gone again. I come in suddenly, overwhelmed at Wal-Mart, fumbling with contrasting cultures, demanding schedules, and just like that, I am back on a flight over the Ocean. 

I have wanted to ask all those who have remained my friend their forgiveness. I realized how hard it must be to be my friend! And yet I have realized, how faithful they have been to me.  Friends who have welcomed me into their home as a homeless drug addicted teen. Friends who sat next to my hospital bed after countless suicide OD attempts, on a respirator, in a coma. Friends in whom have welcomed me into their family, into their home, into their prayers, into their lives. Friends who never laughed at the idea of me going halfway across the world. Who prayed like crazy when I boarded that first flight, scared to pieces. Friends who always saw Gods ability, never my reality. I am not capable, not able, and surely not qualified. It is all the Lord, because I am a broken stumbling vessel. 

No one ever told me, how on the mission field, you will meet so many amazing people from all over the world. You will make friends quick and form deep quick relationships. You will wonder if you have one more goodbye left in you, as another friend whirlwinds back or into their next place. But also I am thankful, as I have began to realize and trust and cling to the fact that, my residency is in heaven, on a level I would have never grasped before. 


To my friends. Thank you and I am so deeply sorry. Someday, we will all be at his feet, at the banquet table, with no more goodbye’s or even the superficial 1-2 year long “See ya soon”. Someday….. we wont have to feel the miles, and distance. And I cannot tell you how I appreciate you, and how amazing of friends you are!