Friday, January 28, 2011

The Miracle of Life

This video was posted on Facebook and other places on the internet in honor of Sanctity of Life week earlier this month. We thought you might enjoy seeing it here, since life is what Casa Compasiva is all about.

We saw our first client this past week, so Lord willing a little one will be born sometime in May. Meanwhile the training continues.

(Permission pending to continue displaying this video)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The End of the Beginning

So the  seven-day Doula Training Course is now officially over, and that marks the very end of the very beginning of Casa Compasiva.  :)  Now we are open, launched, out there, and very excited!

By the way, I think it is time to let you in on a little secret: that is, that we have re-invented the term doula for the purposes of Casa Compasiva.  Let me 'splain: In the U.S. and Canada, as I understand it, a doula is a person who gives physical and emotional support to the labouring and birthing mama.  She does not assist the attending midwife or physician.

Here at Casa Compasiva, however, our doulas are trained to give support to Mama both pre-natally and in labour, as well as to assist the midwives.  They can check vital signs, draw up meds, resucitate a baby, help stop a hemmorhage, care for mama and baby post-partum, etc.etc.etc. Pretty spectacular ladies!

Fourteen doulas took the course (some from start to finish and others coming in late) and now we have a good pool of human resources to draw from as needed.  Now that the beginning is ended, we start the weekly process of practicing our new skills to keep them sharp, and filling in gaps for those who missed one or another of the sessions.  On-going education will be the standard for our doulas.

One of the saddest parts of the course was hearing the birth stories of some of the doulas and their friends.  Time and again we were told of being treated badly, lied to by medical staff, and bullied into unnecessary Caesareans.

Most of our doulas are now for the first time understanding the midwifery model of gentle, natural birth, and are starting to comprehend the tragedy of the indignities that they suffered to bring their babies into the world.  Some are grieving their losses.

All are highly motivated to provide kind, gentle support for the ladies to whom they will minister. They are eager to share God's love in the context of pre-natal, intra-partum, and post-partum care.  In short, these are wonderful ladies, and we thank God for bringing us just the right ones!

The "patient" is a doula-in-training, not a teenaged mother

Friday, January 21, 2011

Open for business

Yes, you read that right.  Casa Compasiva is now open for business!  Please spread the word to any expectant mothers you may happen to know in the Oaxaca valley.  We now need more wombs to measure, blood pressure to check, and fetal heart tones to monitor.  This is exciting!

Thank you for remembering us in prayer this week as we continue with the very first training session.  Here's another glimpse of our class.  Hold onto your chairs as you watch the scintillating video.  (And don't blink.)

You might also notice the old YWAM logo on the one wall.  Hopefully soon that will be replaced with our own Casa Compasiva logo.  However the rest of the walls are still pretty much barren (pardon the pun).  Keep us in mind if you have any lovely or homey pictures or mirrors you would like to donate.  We still need some lamps, rugs, and other furnishings, too.  Little by little it is coming together.

Some of the training is on DVD

  Thanks once again for your partnership with us in this new venture.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Needed: household furnishings

As of yesterday the first doula training course has been happening at Casa Compasiva.  So far, so good.  It's been a wonderful beginning.  Hopefully we'll get some photos of the class to post soon.

Meanwhile we are in serious need of ... just about everything for the house itself.  As you know, it is an enormous facility, which is a blessing.  However, it is EMPTY.

If you live in the vicinity, can you find any furniture, dishes, linens, lamps, vases, decorative items, wall hangings, rugs, curtains, or basically anything that will make this building more homey for women coming for prenatal checkups and for delivering babies?  Please keep us in mind before you have a garage sale or pass things on.

Even if you live further away, maybe you would consider making a donation toward the purchase of some of the furnishings.  Hint, hint.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Countdown to Launch!

January 17th-- one week from today--is our target opening date, an arbitrary date set way back in the summertime.  It was set before we had a facility for the birth center, before we had any personnel- volunteer or otherwise-, before we had any equipment or supplies, and before we had a peso to our name. Yet it was set prayerfully, and God has been so wonderfully faithful to honour that arbitrary date!

He has supplied an incredible facility, He has supplied doctors, itinerant midwives, equipment and supplies, and enough pesos to get us off the ground.  He didn't need to do that: He is not obligated to fit  in to our pre-determined schedules, but He delights in holding His children's hands and encouraging them as they toddle along in their baby steps of faith.
It is now fifteen months since this Oaxacan birth center idea was first conceived. The birth center, developed in the womb of prayer and faith, has gone through the full gestation period and is now in active labour (meaning we are working very hard right now!).  It has been a long pregnancy, and we are waiting expectantly (pun totally intended) for the baby to appear. Like any first-time parents, we at Casa Compasiva are excited and also a bit nervous. So much still to do to get ready for this very BIG baby-- this very big project! 
Now we are in countdown mode, with our doula (midwives' assistant)-training course beginning on Thursday the 14th, and continuing through the following week. Yes, you read that right.  Even though we will be in the middle of a training course, we will still be opening our doors to Casa Compasiva's very first clients. Any women who arrive for prenatal care in that first week will also be prevailed upon to lend us their tummies for training purposes. :) To be honest, we hope that not too many women show up in the first few days,  giving us a bit more time to get thoroughly organized.  

 Please keep us in your prayers as we wade through the myriad of details still to be taken care of in the next few days, and pray for each mama and baby soon to be offered compassionate care in Jesus' name.