Public hospitals and even the private hospitals here in Nicaragua gave me the willies since I didn’t speak Spanish and health care was no priority then. We had found an obstetrician who spoke English and was willing to do a home birth.
Our life-style was much rougher then than it is now. We had no telephone. We had no hot water. The electricity went out all the time and with it went the water. We lived out in the middle of the campo on a badly maintained dirt road which was our only access to “civilization” or medical care. Yet we did have tiled floors, showers (when the water was on), and we had a community.
After a false alarm the night before when Mama and Daddy arrived in-country, Mike, Mama and I went bouncing in the truck to see the doctor. On the way home, labor was jostled into full blown.
When it was time to push Joseph out, I learned that the doctor who had been here for a couple of hours waiting, had left to find a phone (no cell phones then) to call the pediatrician to come.
Kathy went with the doctor to use the friend's phone that we borrowed in that house. Pat kept Daddy busy talking with him. Mama was praying. Sarah was watching anxiously for the doctor to return. Jessica was keeping Coury (almost 7 years old) and Daniel (age 3) entertained, and Mike was with me in the bathroom. The next happened in about three minutes…
Mike saved Joseph from being born in a toilet. I pushed once in our bed, and Joseph came plopping out screaming with the cord wrapped around his neck three times. Mike calmed me and unwrapped the cord…as family and community flooded in…and handed me our little Joseph to hold.
Very soon Sarah with a very embarrassed doctor came in. As the post-birthing activities took place…cutting the cord, wrapping Joseph, etc. … my placenta refused to budge.
Then came the scaping manually of the placenta with no anesthesia at all…Mike supported me. Mama prayed and the rest held Joseph, cooed and aahed, and helped Coury and Daniel meet and hold their new brother. I only had to focus on not kicking the doctor in the face.
I have always been offended by couples who say, “We’re pregnant.” After four pregnancies, puking my insides out with morning sickness, back aches, false labor contractions, swollen feet, and being so uncomfortable…I insist that only I was pregnant…WE were having a baby.
I have also said, “Doctors do not deliver babies unless in labor themselves…they help.” After three labors…believe me, neither the midwives nor the doctor worked like I did.
But having my community with me meant that labor was easier. I knew before the labor I could count on them to help me if the doctor could not come… and they did. Knowing that the other small ones were being cared for left me to concentrate on relaxing during contractions and Mike coaching me. Knowing that Daddy and Mama were being hosted allowed me to focus on the job at-hand. And I knew when Mike told me the doctor was not here, that Mike would help me get Joseph out safely.
We are interdependent on each other.
No one is completely independent. No one can make their own success by themselves. No one can pull themselves up by their boot straps. And having a baby alone would be terrifying. We are all interdependent.
Many doctors may think that they are God’s gift to humanity because of all their studying, but without their nurses and lab techs they struggle…I have seen this when they have come to work down here in our Clinic without them. They depend on the support and tests.
Many lawyers may think that they are the right-hand of the law, but without their secretaries and paralegals, they are bogged down in paperwork and may miss crucial aspect found in the books of law.
Many founders of businesses think that they made the business themselves and deserve huge salaries, but without the infrastructure of the roads, electricity and water…without the support of their workers…they would just have good ideas brewing in their brains.
The poor know this. They know that they that they only survive together.
And the rich know that if the poor truly unionize and join together, despite race and religion, they will be a force that demands more equality.
We are all interdependent.
EVERY. SINGLE. LAST. ONE. OF. US.
And that includes cities, states, nations, and continents…even Antarctica is dependent on us to do our part to save the ice.
If climate change has taught anything, it has taught us that we are all dependent on each other. We all share the same air, the same water, the same hurricanes and fires, the same droughts and floods, the same sea-level risings.
When leaders of our world seek to divide us, we need to grab the hands closest to us and keep reaching to bring us all together. Together we are a force to be reckoned with.