HomePrayer UpdatesGrace upon Grace: The very real struggle to have a healthy baby in South Sudan

Grace upon Grace: The very real struggle to have a healthy baby in South Sudan

Grace J. was followed carefully in antenatal clinic for several months.  This, her 8th pregnancy, was hoped to be different than all the others.  Her first baby had been born alive, but died after a few days of life.  For the next six pregnancies, she faithfully attended antenatal care at the main hospital in Juba, South Sudan.  Her husband emphatically stated, "We did not stay and deliver in the village-- we were at the big hospital!"  However, each time she would arrive at a checkup at about 35 weeks along, and find that the baby had died inside, without any warning signs.  He implored us to help them have a live baby this time.  We carefully monitored her after 28 weeks, giving her steroids to mature the baby's lungs in case of an early delivery, and checking the baby each time on a fetal monitor.  Around 34 weeks, the husband began asking us to deliver the baby, but we were hesitant to bring baby out too early.  He asked to sign a consent for a C-section operation, in case we needed to emergently deliver the baby.  Their village is about 50 miles from the hospital, so he worried that we wouldn't be able to reach him if surgery was needed.

We kept her in the hospital and monitored daily until 35 weeks, then made the decision to induce labour.  Grace was stable, but as soon as contractions started, the baby showed signs of distress, so we prepared urgently for C-section.  Her blood pressure was suddenly noted to be extremely high, so we modified the anesthesia we were planning to use, gave her medicine to lower her blood pressure, and quickly delivered the baby by C-section.  

Thanks to the grace of God, it was a healthy baby boy!  Grace struggled with a post-operative headache due to the urgent spinal anesthesia, requiring Jeff to learn a new procedure ("blood patch")-- which worked (thanks to a consult with Charlie, our hometown anesthetist!).  It was a happy day when Grace and her husband took their healthy son home, reminding us all that our lives themselves are only due to the grace of God.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 May 2015 15:59

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Share the gospel of Jesus Christ and strengthen His Church through medical care and education, discipleship, and loving the people of South Sudan as a family.

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