As I was packing today for our trip to the U.S. for Luke’s wedding, I was thinking how much more relaxed I was than when I was packing to go to KTM with Les (when he had his hemorrhage) without knowing if we were going to be able to return to Tansen or not! It was a much more pleasant to pack anticipating a joyful reunion with friends and family and a celebration of adding a new daughter-in-love to our family. Oct. 13 in Knoxville! I should have put tags on our suitcases saying, “Knoxville or Bust”!
These past weeks have been very busy here in Tansen. The hospital census today was 176 inpatients – in our 165 bed hospital. People who are told to try another hospital because we are full often beg for a mattress in the corridor – they know that the care at our hospital in a bed in the hall is still superior to most other places here in Nepal.
Les has had some interesting cases recently. One day he encountered 2 ruptured uteruses in 2 different women in the space of 24 hours. The first lady had had a previous c-section, and was in labor but not progressing. So, they took her to the OR where they found that the top and bottom halves of the uterus had torn apart. The previous incision had ruptured and extended around to the back of the uterus. The baby, attached to the bottom half of the uterus, was alive, which was miraculous, and the woman had hardly bled at all, which was also miraculous. So – mom and baby are doing fine and mom got the birth control she wanted as they were finished with their family.
The second lady was in her 3rd pregnancy, having had a previous normal delivery and then a “miscarriage”. She was in labor and was progressing, but the amniotic fluid was found to have thick meconium and the baby’s heart rate was dropping, so she was taken for a c-section. At surgery, she was found to have an old looking tear at the top of her uterus. This is an unusual place for a tear, and after questioning the family it was determined that she had not had a miscarriage, but a late term abortion. (The family had forced her into this decision after finding that the baby would be a female which the family didn’t want.) Both the mom and baby survived the c-section in Tansen, but it was thought that the tear was probably due to an unhealed perforation from the abortion.
Two miraculous events in Tansen Hospital. However, we were saddened by the events leading to the second lady’s c-section. More and more people are using ultra sound here to determine the sex of their unborn baby and if they find it is a girl, an abortion is often performed. A recent article in the Nepali Times newspaper stated that 50,000 girl babies are aborted each year – because they are girls. There is still a strong influence from the Hindu belief that sons are needed to complete necessary rites for their parents – and many fathers are willing to force their wives to abort their daughters to avoid having to pay to raise them only to “lose” them to another family when they marry. Officially, this is illegal in Nepal, but no one seems to be enforcing that law. Our hearts are burdened by this loss of so many precious baby girls.
Les and I were “headline” speakers at a recent 3 day conference for ladies in the church. We spoke at 2 sessions on the book of Esther. Yes – even Debbie did her part of the presentation in Nepali! Les stood by and offered words and encouragement and didn’t laugh at her grammar. (I know that was a struggle for him, but he did it!) We just pray that God’s message was heard by the ladies who attended. It was a great 3 days of worship and time of visiting together as well as learning about the bible.
The monsoon seems to have ended. We found another fascinating bug outside a friend’s house at the hospital which is supposed to forecast the end of the rains. It looks quite like a bundle of sticks – with a worm inside! Another wonderful bit of God’s creation!
Thanks for reading and for your prayers as we begin our 4 weeks away from Tansen.