Back on the Border

Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but … life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, Love in the Time of Cholera

I have now been back at the birth clinic on the border for over a month and a half.  It was rough settling back in to such a busy atmosphere, but I am now feeling more at ease.  Three days a week I am in the clinic, either doing pre-natal and post-partum appointments or on the birth rotation.  I have personally caught 3 babies since I have been back bringing my total to 12, and had one woman in labor transfer to the hospital for an early labor complication, where she birthed safely and vaginally.

We have been so lucky to have a special preceptor at the birth center these last few weeks named Ruth Kauffman.  She graduated from this program and is a RN and CPM.  She has spent many years now as a career midwife with MSF (Doctors Without Borders) and was on the frontlines treating pregnant women in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak.  Her enthusiasm for birth is infectious, as is her drive to understand the science behind what she sees in each encounter with our clients.  It has been really special to have someone around who pushes us to think critically in a way that is both challenging and validating.

Here is an article about her work with MSF (Swoon!).

The pace at the clinic is high speed, and I am learning so much I sometimes feel I don’t have time to process it all.  I am forcing myself to carve out time each day to complete my homework assignments and research topics of interest.  Currently I am working on an assignment researching Group Beta Strep (GBS) infections, Early Onset Sepsis, and Respiratory Distress in the newborn.  It is pretty heavy material, but certainly important to understand.

If you are interested in a well researched, easy to understand review of the literature on GBS during pregnancy check out this great site by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN at

I have been accessing a wealth of great websites and guidelines and will be sharing more of the articles in a later post.  For now, I am going to try to get some exercise before heading back to the books.  Thanks for reading!



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