Saturday, November 21, 2015

Identical Twin Boys!

We had identical twin boys born prematurely 2 days ago.  Unfortunately, this seems to be a season of premature babies.  Baby #1 weighs 1.3kg (2 pounds, 13 ounces) and baby #2 weighs 1.5kg (3 pounds, 4 ounces).

They are both staying at the clinic with their mom until they are stronger.  The smaller one doesn't suck very well at all but the larger one is a bit stronger.  Both are being fed by tube for now and suckle at the breast when they are awake/alert.  Their mom is doing a great job taking care of these sweet boys!  They don't have names yet but their family will give them names in the next week or so. It's typical here to wait a week before naming a baby, but especially if the baby is very tiny.  

Please pray with us for the growth and health for the little guys!  

Maternal and Infant Care Matter.....

Baby Kayla went home today!!! She is 5 pounds, 1 ounce and will come back to the clinic every Friday for weight checks.  Her mom was beaming all morning!!! 5 weeks ago, she was home with a tiny baby who couldn't suck and thinking that her baby was going to die.  Today she is home with her growing, healthy baby with hope for the future.  She is a stronger, wiser and more confident mom.  I am proud of her and thankful to God.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Doubled Weight! :)

Baby Kayla Boi is now 5 pounds!  Yes, I have a new namesake :)  Boi is the local name meaning "first daughter".  She has doubled her weight as she was 2 1/2 pounds when she came to the clinic 5 weeks ago.  She is doing well at breastfeeding now and her feeding tube was taken out yesterday.  We will continue to monitor her for a few days at the clinic to make sure she continues to gain weight without tube feedings.  We want to make sure she is strong with enough energy to breastfeed the amount she needs to continue growing!

God willing, this brave momma will be taking her sweet baby home in the next few days and she couldn't be happier about it!  :)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Preemie Baby....GROWING!

I have been taking care of a premature baby girl for the past month.  It has taken a lot of time and energy, but it’s always worth it when you start seeing the baby gaining weight, becoming more active and the cheeks become chubby!  
Her teenage mom brought her to the clinic to get her vaccines at a week old.  When I was preparing to give her the vaccine, I noticed how small she was and started asking questions.  She was born at the hospital, weighing 2 1/2 pounds.  They discharged her the same day she was born.  WHY WHY WHY???  This happens often in Sierra Leone and every time it’s quite infuriating.  I talked to the midwife and told her this baby needs admitted.  If they don't admit her, then I would care for her at home.  The midwife agreed to admit her if I took responsibility for her care.  

She has been at the hospital now for over 4 weeks and is doing well.  She is 5 weeks old 4 1/2 pounds now!  Her mom is amazing and takes very good care of her!  Her mom plans to attend her last year of high school after the baby is healthy and strong.   
They named her Kayla Boi.  She will likely be discharged to go home in the next week or two.  Thank God she has stayed healthy and is doing great!  

1 week old...2 1/2 pounds. 

Kayla Boi with her wonderful momma. 

2 weeks old. 

5 weeks....4 pounds.  

Doing good at 5 weeks old....4 pounds! 

Well Drilling and Clinic Pics!

The team for the water well was with us for two weeks.  They tried 5 different bore holes, only to meet hard impassable granite stone in each area.  There is at least one bore hole that looks promising. They got 7 feet of water but needs at least 10 feet.  There is another tool that they can use to try and pass the stone, however it's not recommended to use it until dry season. So as of now we will be waiting to continue the well drilling until March or April (middle of dry season).

This is unfortunate as it will delay the clinic opening, but we will remain steadfast and patient, trusting that things will get done in the right season and timing.  

The drilling team will be back in Bo trying again in March or April.  Will keep you updated!!  

In the mean time, here are a few pictures of the clinic so far!  We have most everything unpacked from the container and put away.  I am working on getting beds in December.  It's starting to actually look like a clinic now!  Praise God!  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Container Unloaded and Well Drilling Started!!!

The shipping container arrived in Sierra Leone beginning of September.  After weeks of processing papers and hassle, the container was released from the port on Friday, Sep 25!

Thank you to ALL who donated to get this container from Marshalltown, Iowa to BoTown, Sierra Leone!  We greatly appreciate your generosity.

Everything is now offloaded and delivered to where it needs to be.  All the supplies and equipment are now in the clinic building!  As soon as the well drilling is done, we will start the job to put up shelving and unpack all the supplies for the clinic.

The team from Freetown started drilling the well today!  They manually drill it so it's a lot of work!  It will take approximately a week to finish it.  Please pray that they will not run into hard rock, safety for the workers and good relationships to be built.  I praise God for all who donated to make this well drilling possible!!  I will make sure to post an update when it's finished!!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Settled in Salone!

We have been in Sierra Leone for a bit over a month now and feeling very settled!  It has been a busy month!  I have been able to catch up with many friends and colleagues here after not seeing each other for nearly a year!  It is so nice doing errands in town and seeing so many people whom I have missed.  We are definitely "HOME".

Unfortunately, the clinic building was not in great shape at our return.  Many things had been damaged inside and the painting was not finished as it was supposed to be while I was in the States.  But we have been working hard on it and it's looking better everyday!  The inside of the building is nearly done now.  We had to get rid of an ant infestation, repair a few of the locks, repair some broken tiles, paint the whole inside, and CLEAN.  It will be finished inside this week!  I will post pictures after it's done!

The shipping container has landed in the port in Freetown and we expect to get it to BoTown this week!  We are greatly anticipating unloading this container and setting up the clinic!  Even though the inside of the clinic will be done and supplied, we still have some work ahead before it can open.

The next steps are to drill a well, dig a septic tank and build a water tower with tank.  We are waiting until the end of the rainy season to start these projects (October).  Currently, it is raining daily.  In fact, it literally hasn't stopped raining now for over 24 hours! This makes is too difficult to move forward on these projects for now.  We also need to start the process to get licensed as a clinic in Sierra Leone.  So, we still have a road ahead but definitely starting to see the light at the end!

Please continue to pray for energy, endurance, clear path to follow and open doors.

On a different note, Annalise is doing very well now!  The first week or two were quite hard as everything was new and oh so foreign from what she is used to.  But she is now very happy, loves our friends here, very independent in our compound, enjoys walks around the neighborhood, and LOVES feeding our dogs and cats daily (and bossing them around).

We are really enjoying being back home in Sierra Leone and look forward to the months ahead!

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, supported us in numerous ways, sent notes of encouragement and loved us from so far away!  We are beyond blessed.