Midwife Vini and the Newborn
This story of hope and perseverance comes from Midwife Vini, one of the midwives working with rainforest communities in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Indonesian Borneo.
Mrs. S, 37 years old, was pregnant with her third child. At her last pregnancy check up, Midwife Vini advised the mother to deliver at the local community health center, as Mrs. S had several risk factors. She had a history of footling breech birthing conditions. Vini predicted that this would occur again with her third pregnancy.
She advised Mrs. S to have an ultrasound done at the health center before the delivery date. However, she never went to get an ultrasound done.
One night, in the early hours of the morning, Mrs. S’ husband came to the Nusa Poring Clinic to let Vini know that Mrs. S had gone into labor at home. She could not make the trip to the clinic due to her emergent labor. Vini immediately rushed to Mrs. S’ home in Mengkilau with her husband.
When she arrived, Vini found that Mrs. S’ water had broken and she was fully dilated. While conducting the pelvic exam, the midwife also felt the baby’s foot and part of its leg, instead of the head – another footling breech. This meant that the baby’s head could be stuck in the birth canal and was at risk of asphyxiation.
Midwife Vini quickly took action and called for a neighbor to take the mother to Menukung Health Center by car, as fast as possible. There, Mrs. S could receive the extra medical attention needed for a labor and delivery as high-risk as hers.
They left for the clinic at 1:30am. Even though it was not raining at the time, the road conditions from Mengkilau to Menukung are very poor, making it a long journey. Midwife Vini worked hard to keep the mother calm, hoping to avoid a breech delivery in the car.
After about an hour, the mother screamed and said that it felt like the baby had come out. Vini checked, and saw that the baby’s feet had been born.
Upon arrival to the health center, they discovered that there were no medical personnel at the Emergency Room. Vini called for another midwife who lives nearby to come assist with the birth.
Since the baby had already been partially born and due to the mother’s pain level, Vini and Mrs. S’ husband worked together with the limited medical equipment they had.
After a few minutes, the baby was born. For a few nerve-wracking seconds, the baby did not cry, as it had been stuck in the birth canal for a few minutes. Finally the baby called out!
The second midwife Vini sent for arrived after the birth and took care of the mother, while Vini looked over the baby.
Both the mother and the baby recovered well, thanks to Midwife Vini’s medical expertise and quick thinking. After spending a few hours under observation at the health center, Mrs. S, her husband, and their baby were able to return home.