Mid­wife-turned-ad­min­is­tra­tor remembers tough­est de­liv­er­ies

The Star (Jamaica) - - FEATURE - ALI­CIA BAR­RETT STAR Writer

Now a nurse ad­min­is­tra­tor at the Vic­to­ria Jubilee Ma­ter­nity Hospi­tal, Patsy Ed­ward­sHenry still remembers the days she did home de­liv­er­ies as a mid­wife.

Ac­cord­ing to Ed­wards-Henry, it was not an easy task, but the hands-on train­ing pre­pared her to be one of the best at the hospi­tal.

Over her 27-year ca­reer, she did 30 home de­liv­er­ies. She ad­mit­ted that once a per­son masters the crit­i­cal­think­ing skills needed in a home de­liv­ery, it is eas­ier when they start their job in a hospi­tal.

“Ev­ery mo­ment counts (in home de­liv­er­ies). The de­ci­sion that you make when do­ing an at-home de­liv­ery can de­ter­mine whether or not the baby and mother live or die,” she said.

The proud mother of two, Ed­wards-Henry told THE STAR that it was not al­ways a smooth road when de­liv­er­ies were done at home.

Even though moth­ers were more com­fort­able in their own homes, there were times when they had to be rushed to the hospi­tal in or­der to get bet­ter med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

“It is nor­mally a smooth process be­cause the moth­ers have their fam­ily around them, but I re­mem­ber one time when this lady de­liv­ered and she was bleed­ing non-stop and we had to trans­port her to the hospi­tal,” she said.

That ex­pe­ri­ence was fright­en­ing, but she ad­mit­ted that the home de­liv­ery she per­formed on the day Hur­ri­cane Gus­tav landed in 2008 topped all oth­ers.


“I did not get any time to pre­pare be­cause I was sup­posed to go to work, but the bridge at Har­bour View was bro­ken in two,” she said.

While at home, she got a call that a woman was at the Bull Bay Po­lice Sta­tion about to deliver and was in need of help.

With­out a se­cond thought, she grabbed her lit­tle bag and went to the sta­tion to help.

“It was a very ter­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause I had not done a home de­liv­ery for 10 years, and then, with­out much prepa­ra­tion, I had to help this woman. We laid out the blan­kets and coached her through the de­liv­ery. The awe­some thing is that she fol­lowed all our in­struc­tions,” she said.

The baby was de­liv­ered, but the work was not done. Ed­wards-Henry said that the baby was not breath­ing prop­erly, and with­out a suc­tion cup to help re­lease the air­ways, she had to im­pro­vise.

“I had to grab a straw and put it down the baby’s throat and ask the father to suck and clear his pas­sage. It was a very scary ex­pe­ri­ence, but it was good be­cause it helped to build me,” she said. She said that peo­ple are grav­i­tat­ing more to­wards hos­pi­tals, and, as a re­sult, at-home de­liv­er­ies are de­clin­ing. And even though she has not done one since 2008, the clin­i­cal spe­cial­ist be­lieves that learn­ing is nec­es­sary in her field, and so, she promised her­self that she would learn every­thing new.

“I still do de­liv­er­ies at least once a month, and I go to other ar­eas and learn as much as I can. I want to be able to help in ev­ery way I can and not be seen as a pa­per-pusher,” she said.


Patsy Ed­wards-Henry

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