Our team has been busy, busy, busy in the last months! That is a good thing. We are a part of the Community Health Action Team (CHAT), facilitated by Neighborhood Connections and funded by the Greater University Circle Community Health Initiative. GUCCHI received a total of $500,000 from the Cleveland Foundation to focus efforts in lead remediation in Glenville and infant mortality in Hough. Of those funds, we were awarded $125,000 to pilot our program in the Hough neighborhood. Yay! We will train up to 10 women and serve anywhere between 25 and 75 families. That's a lot of babies!
We will begin recruiting this month. Everyone is welcome to attend the info sessions, as we will be expanded and adding neighborhoods as we move along, so everyone is needed in the fight against infant mortality. The selected trainees have to complete 3 months of interactive training, including shadowing and sister circle facilitation.
Stay tuned :)
I received an unexpected call last week from a young lady whom I had never met. She expressed to me that she was given my contact by a nurse at the hospital she visited, and wanted to know if I'd be able to assist her with the birth of her baby.
She was afraid that she'd be alone in the labor and delivery room, since she was not from Cleveland, and her boyfriend was cities away. I explained to her that I would provide as much support as I could. I wanted her to call me back later so that we could discuss her birth plan. She never called.
On a hunch, I called her the very next morning, and to both of our surprise, she was in labor. I met her at the hospital, where we met for the first time. She was in the early stages of labor, visibly uncomfortable and waiting for admission. We finally got the ok to stay, so off to labor and delivery.
This is were the work begins. She insisted on a natural delivery, which I was so thrilled about. At 4 centimeters dilated, we tried the birth ball. As soon as she sat on the ball, her water broke, so the ball really began to roll (no pun intended lol). The contractions were coming steady, hard and fast but she wanted to keep going without the epidural (so proud). We got on the bed, on all fours, did some rocking. With all of the strappings of the fetal monitors and IV's, we still moved about the room.
After 6 hours, her boyfriend arrived, and her Godmother shortly arrived thereafter. She looked at me, and said " Please don't go, I still want you to stay". With tears almost in my eyes, I agreed, 3 hours later, she had a healthy 7 pound baby boy.
Although we had never laid eyes on one another, we became so close in spirit. She didn't want me to leave, and I didn't want to leave. She was an amazing trooper! She stuck it out in the labor and delivery. This unexpected delivery was all my pleasure.
No Woman Should Ever Birth Alone