The Open Post

by Stacey

Hi everyone. I’ve got friends on the mind today. Lots of them doing cool things. My friend Kate, who is mama to one crazy-cute Lucy, has a play running in New York right now called 100 Saints You Should Know. I’m so proud of her. Here’s a video of an interview with Kate and two of the actors in the play, including Janel Maloney, who played Donna on “The West Wing.”

I’m also thinking of Anna, who used to be Sage’s nanny and now is a favorite person in our family. She just got back from Guatemala where she spent three weeks learning and assisting in prenatal care for rural women through her nursing program at the University of Washington. It was different and dangerous and she had a great time. I’m feeling proud of her too.

And I’m really proud of my buddy Lisa in Brooklyn who is days away from delivering her first baby. She’s brave like all women must be. I know it’s gonna be great.

So what’s up with you guys? Feeling proud of anyone lately?



Filed under 100 Saints You Should Know

2 responses to “The Open Post

  1. annamcclendon

    Thanks Stacey! You are the best also. And, as promised, I will share a very funny story from my trip to Guatemala.

    So, as Stacey already explained I traveled with the University of Washington School of Nursing to a small rural village at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala to learn prenatal care and deliver babies! Wow!
    One of the first days there, I was in the hospital, delivering a baby. Double wow!!! (Mind you, this is before my Fall maternity rotation AND completely in Spanish, if we were lucky, and not the local dialect of Xatchixal.)
    So, first, you need to understand that the hospital was SMALL (4 rooms), and basic (NO EMERGENCIES here!)

    Our birth progressed rather slowly, approximately 1cm an hour. She walked from the time we arrived at the hospital which was 9am, until approximately 7pm. At 7pm, she was exhausted, and the rest of her labor occured in the small exam room on the exam table.
    And then things went NOT as planned.
    First the mother: She progressed to 9cm, and then failed to continue to dilate. After 3 hours at 9, her cervix actually thickened. Her water finally broke at this time, and merconium was released. In addition, she was spiking a fever. NO good!

    And then me: I FAINTED. Yes, my first birth experience as a nursing student, and I fainted on top of the woman in labor.
    My only moment of glory was that the other student in the room thought I was protecting the woman from her abusive mother ON PURPOSE (she was slapping her across the face because her labor was progressing so slow).
    But, no, I went unconscious in a small Guatemalan exam room with 8 people, 6 more than capacity I am sure, and no water to drink for 14 hours. I wonder?

    But back to the labor: There was an impending concern about the woman’s pelvis shape, as well as infection for mother and baby, considering the hospital that we were at was unable to deal with ANY of these complications. Suddenly, right as my instructor had decided to get an ambulance for this woman to go to an emegency hospital that was at least an hour away, the baby’s head crowned. Of course, with modestly, the woman’s long skirt was only up to her knees.

    Freshly conscious, my instructor sent me out in search of the hospital aide for the birthing instruments. The hospital was EMPTY. Except for the emergency ROOM in which Omar the aide and at least a dozen people were speaking Spanish. Remember, I had only been in Guatemala for 2 days at this point, and my Spanish was approximately at a 9th grade level, with a recent bout of unconsciousness making any communication more difficult. So I run up to Omar, yelling and hitting my head, “Omar, bebe y cerveza… bebe y cerveza.” Omar is stunned, as is everyone in the room, and only continues to stare at me. Suddenly I realize my mistake, that cerveza is actually the word for beer, not head. I quickly regain composure and yell, while still hitting my head, “bebe y cabeza.”

    I triumphantly arrive in the exam room with Omar, and do NOT mention anything about my poor, poor Spanish.

    The baby is born, despite my efforts, a healthy 6 and 1/2 lb girl.

    Later, I begin to feel faint again, and give in to rest. On the way home from our birth experience in Guatemala, 11pm, I tell my teacher and the other student, my beer-head slip up. My teacher almost fell out the tuk-tuk (small 3 wheeled taxi) because she was laughing so hard.

    The laughs continued through the trip, but nothing as dramatic as the nurse that fell.

  2. oh my god anna, you are too funny. i’ll say on your behalf that i can’t imagine a more competent person than you caring for my children or anyone else for that matter. i bet you will never again mix up beer and head in spanish!

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