Day Seven

October 7, 2008 at 10:35 pm Leave a comment

The first two years we lived in Ukraine I studied cultural norms and learned how to buy ingredients for borscht and leaned heavily on my American teammates.  They were a life boat in rough waters. 

Having been through culture shock and language classes, many could roll with superstitions still prominent in the culture; spitting over your shoulder three times to keep the “evil eye” away from babies or not whistling indoors to ensure prosperity and wealth.  They had a basket of topochkee near the front door of their apartments for visitors to wear inside instead of shoes.  The call to live and serve in Ukraine was strong and true.  It helped on days when someone was ready to pack up and go home. 

I loved getting to know Ukrainians but I appreciated American banter at team meetings and praying with others in a language that was comfortable when everything else in my life was uncomfortable.  It took so much energy to even attempt to acclimate to the culture.  With teammates and other ex-pats, I breathed, I rested. 

After settling into my room at the hospital the day I was admitted, my friend J called my cell phone. 

“I hope you don’t mind, Gillian, but I called L to tell her about you and the baby.” 

L was another teammate who before moving to Russia and later to Ukraine for a counseling ministry was a post natal nurse in the States. 

J was only looking out for us.  She really was a great mother hen for the whole team.   But I was on edge and a bit flustered and scared.  Her phone call provided me with something to replace my worry.  At least for a couple of minutes. 

“That’s fine, J.  I am glad she knows so that she can pray,” I lied through clenched teeth. 

My friend sensed my frustration and continued on anyway, 

“We are coming up to the hospital.  My husband and I are leaving the kids with a sitter and we’ll pick up L on the way.” 

I was not given a choice.  Thank God. 

A few minutes later the telephone rang again.  This time it was L. 

L is a wonderfully sensitive, soft spoken woman.  I imagine she is a fantastic counselor because when you talk with her she gives you her full attention.   

I explained that the baby had not grown at all since the last visit, how I was admitted and on an IV with glucose and other vitamins.  I told her about the green squiggly lines on the monitor screen, how the baby’s heart beat dropped low, very low when I’d have a contraction. 

There was silence on the other end of the phone.  And then, 

“Gillian, I will be there in a half hour.  The next time your doctor comes into the room you need to demand an emergency c-section.  I don’t want to scare you but in the States your baby would have already been delivered.  She is not doing well.  Listen to me, you have to talk to your doctor.” 

I held the phone up to my ear taking in L’s words.  Was this some kind of bad dream?  

We hung up and I told Sergei what L said.  He went to find the doctor.   

I closed my eyes and exhaled.   

“Please God.  Keep this baby alive.  And help us to know what to do.”  

I was sure I was watching a scene unfold in someone else’s life.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: 31 for 21, Books and Writing, Culture differences, Down syndrome, Former Soviet Union, Friends, Gillian Marchenko, Having a baby, Hospital stays, Kiev, Loneliness, Missionairies, Prayer, Sickness, Ukraine, Uncategorized.

Day Six Day Eight

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Our new friend Hope needs our prayers too!

Polly needs our prayers!

Reece’s Rainbow Christmas Angel Tree


To Select a Bauble For Your Blog
CLICK HERE

Archives

All material on this blog is copyright of Gillian Marchenko

%d bloggers like this: