FGHL Emily duBois RwandaMy colleagues and I have settled into a routine and I have been able to foster relationships that are built on honesty and trust.  Trust to do things the way I know and honesty to discuss why certain practices are in place and how to best improve them. 

A sign of that trust came today when I was assigned to staff the waiting room by myself. This is the room with four beds that are separated by sheets where women are expected to labor and when it is time to push we escort them across the hall to another room. Although this concept is very strange to me I appreciate the autonomy.  If you are assigned to the waiting room this individual is the one who is in-charge of managing labor, which is what I love.

Today we had 6 inductions - 2 have ended in vaginal deliveries, one birth is in progress and two other ended in a c-section. All are happy moms. It's quiet again…the only noise is the chatter in the hallway – the excited greetings and words of congratulations and the mommy pushing in the other room – strong powerful noises as she welcomes her fourth child into the world. 

FGHL Emily duBois RwandaThere is one woman still in labor and as I sit in the waiting room with the lull of the fetal heart monitor pulsing away and the sporadic ‘wephwwwww’, or ‘eyyeeewe ye baba wayyyy’ I wait for the first cry of the baby that the mom is so strongly working to bring into this world.

I am so blessed and humbled to be part of women and families' journeys; to be present at their most joyous, saddest and vulnerable times. To be the hands that welcome their children into the world. Ubuntu – ‘I am because of you’.

I can’t help but think about how strange it is – how we enter and exit this world. And the only way to get though this so-called life is to build rapport because what rapport really means is becoming part of a community.  Being in Rwanda, being part of a community that I am very much an outsider but welcomed into with open arms, is a constant reminder that no one can go it alone, it really does take a village.