Mondays are our Sabbath days since Sundays are so busy in the community. This makes most Mondays pretty great–sleep ins, waffles, swimming in the sun, bicycle rides, reading, movie nights, coffee shop sitting, and other restful things.
This week we actually moved our Sabbath to Wednesday because Woung Shin had a doctor appointment scheduled. And even so, it was such a good day.
A few weeks ago we wrote about the pregnant mother and the baby that was breech. She has been nervous throughout her entire pregnancy, we think because she has had some difficult pregnancies and has lost at least one baby after carrying it to term.
And to be honest, it wasn’t ridiculous for her to be nervous. She was planning to have her baby at the local Burmese clinic, where they don’t offer C-sections and any complications increase the risk significantly. After many prayers, we were celebrating last week when we learned the baby had turned on her own at 37 weeks, after being breech through the entire pregnancy!
This weekend, she said she was having pain and she was worried the baby had turned again. We planned to go the hospital with her the next morning for an ultrasound, but she was particularly worried. We talked to her for quite sometime–had her water broken? Was there any bleeding? Could she still feel the baby moving? Where was the pain? Was it regular pain?
She has labored two children before, so we thought she would know labor if it came. She seemed convinced it wasn’t labor, but seemed more concerned about losing the baby, even if she could feel it moving. She asked if she could go sleep at the clinic just in case, and we thought we’d just go check with her and see what they said. Perhaps it’d be better to just ease all of our minds.
On the way to the clinic, she would wince when she was in pain, and it seemed quite regular. I mentioned to Stephen it might be contractions, but it seemed odd that she didn’t seem to recognize them as such.
The staff were extremely kind and let her & her husband sleep there. I told them I’d be back in the morning.
When I arrived this morning about 8am, I couldn’t find them. I explain to the new round of nurses that I had come in last night with my friend and wasn’t sure where they were. This was all in Karen, but what I understood the nurse reply was, “Yes, the woman with the skin problem?” The word she used was actually “black skin,” but being in a clinic, I assumed it was a skin disease (some things are described more literally than you might expect) and started racking my brain if she had something odd about her skin last night. The nurse saw that I was confused, and then started pointing at my skin, and said again, literally–“black skin.” I noticed I was wearing a black sweater; was she talking about that?
I was pretty confused. She then helped me in English with “Opposite of you! Black skin.” In Karen I explained again that I had come with my friend, she was Burmese–not black?–and that she was pregnant–without a skin disease?
It was then that the young couple came around the corner and said my name, thankfully. Right away I saw her husband and realized that he is from Western Burma and from an ethnicity that is primarily Muslim, which in Karen translates literally to “black person.”
I was confused from the start.
The couple showed me to where they were sleeping and I handed them the breakfast I had brought for them. I asked if she was doing well, and the husband tried to say something about, “Not boy! Girl!” I was asking who was a girl and trying to understand what they were talking about when they pointed to their new baby girl! I hadn’t even seen her in all the blankets on the bed.
She is beautiful!
They had their beautiful little girl last night! The baby hadn’t flipped back to breech and was born naturally. She is healthy and strong–the second biggest baby on the clinic board! (HIPAA is so far from existing here.)
I was just rejoicing on the way to the next hospital to meet Stephen & Woung Shin, nearly to tears. God is so good, and I am so thankful to see this baby arrive safely. We are just praying for this little family and celebrating the chance to love on them.
This was followed by a hopeful report on Woung Shin: they are not sure it is a tumor behind his eye, but have now said it might be an infection or inflammation. They are going to try some medicine to fight these issues and continue to monitor. We are praying and hopeful!
And then we went for a bicycle ride. Despite taking a few wrong turns, we happened upon the most beautiful sunset in Mae Sot yet. We also made it 22.5 kilometers in all our wrong turns!
Can I say again that we are celebrating these good days? We are also pretty excited to bring home the newest neighborhood addition tomorrow!