Cloudia's first birth

Above left is Cloudia, who looks quite young but she is actually 19. Cloudia is pregnant with her first child. I got a call from her Aunt recently. Cloudia's Aunt was unsatisfied with a local hospital who wanted a lot of tests for her. Cloudia's Aunt had all of her children at home and she had instilled her faith and superiority of Midwifery care for Cloudia's first baby. When I first met Cloudia, I asked her if she was scared to have her first child at home. A quick and concise "No" was Cloudia's answer. Right, Cloudia's labor has started. Cloudia breathes through a contraction as Cloudia's Aunt holds her hands. Cloudia's husband has been called, and she hopes that he will soon be with her.

Left, The baby's head is becoming visible as Cloudia pushes. Cloudia's husband has arrived and has taken his place by Cloudia's head. Cloudia's Aunt is now to my right and holds Cloudia's legs as she pushes. Right, the baby's head has begun to crown. As you can see, Cloudia is a very thin person. This birth is taking place in the Riverbed, so this house is exposed to high levels of bacteria and other air born viruses from the nearby contaminated river, so we try and make this birth as clean as possible.

Left, I hold a light to illuminate Cloudia below and a mirror above so that Cloudia can see her progress. Although these photos appear that this little riverbed room is well lit, it is not. It is quite dim, and only the flash from my camera makes it appear that this room is well lit. Right, Cloudia has just birthed the head of her baby and a few seconds later, it has rotated. Cloudia calmly waits for the next contraction.

Left, Cloudia has another contraction and begins to push out the baby's shoulders. Right, this little one wants out and it looks like she is reaching for the stars. Cloudia is fantastically calm throughout her labor. If you were outside this cardboard and pallet house, you would know nothing about what was taking place inside until you heard the baby cry!

Above, Cloudia proudly nurses her newborn daughter, born at 3:53 PM, 2/15/05. #399


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