Archive for the 'Mission Mom' Category

A (planned) Guatemala home birth.

Israela Victoria’s Birth Story

ISRAELA

This is the story of our third Guatemalan birth. After having one baby in a birthing clinic, and one unplanned home birth, we made plans for a home birth at an apartment we were borrowing near the capital city.

Friday (June 6th, 2014)

Contractions started last night (Thursday night) while I was sitting in the recliner shortly before 10 PM. They weren’t painful at all, just regular “hard stomachs.” We went to bed around 12:30 AM. I slept for about 4 hours and woke up before 5 a.m.  I couldn’t get back to sleep and Jubi had been moving around and crying in her crib.We took a walk together as a family with our double stroller from 6:30-8 a.m. I felt somewhat regular contractions during the walk and really felt like I would be having the baby today as with my other two children, whenever I had “real” contractions, they always became regular and never stopped until baby was born, but after our morning walk they continued to slow down and eventually went away throughout the day. I took my shower and got myself all “prettied” up like I always have when I was in labor.

I had a few real contractions while in the shower,  but after the shower and doing my hair and makeup, the contractions pretty much stopped for the rest of the day. I did take a nap from about 4:30-6:45 p.m., but it didn’t seem very restful. I napped  to have energy for labor as I had no idea when the real deal was going to begin.

Continue reading ‘A (planned) Guatemala home birth.’

RENAP requirements for birth certificates

We’re planning a home birth for this spring and needed to look into what’s required by the Guatemalan national people registration office of Guatemala (RENAP) in order to get an official Guatemalan Birth Certificate.

Here are the official requirements for getting your Guatemalan birth certificate:

  1. Do it within 60 days of the birth.
  2. DPI original and copy of both parents  (or just mother)
  3. Medical report of birth (Informe médico de nacimiento) from your doctor or officially registered midwife.
    1. If your midwife is not registered or no medical personnel was present present a legalized and signed report of the birth with signatures of the parents or mother. (Talk to a lawyer’s office or your local RENAP and they can explain how to do this.)
  4. Boleto de Ornato (Get this at your local municipality office)
  5. Passports if parents are from out of country.

After you’ve gone through the RENAP process you can proceed with the passport process and work with your embassy to prepare your national paperwork.

A note to my pregnant friend

Here’s a note that I sent to a friend who is concerned about having a natural childbirth.  I’m pretty passionate about this sort of thing so I wanted to share this here too.

Well, where to begin…I personally have two friends who had their membranes stripped and now look back on it in regret. They both ended up with very long labors and one ended up with a C-section because after over 50 hours of labor she still was not dilated enough. The other one did have a natural birth, but only after many, many hours of labor. They told me that they think their extraordinary long labors were due to them having their membranes stripped. Continue reading ‘A note to my pregnant friend’

Finding quality kids accessories in Guatemala

Kids Box

A large selection of cribs, playpens and car seats.

We have kids, and we live in Guatemala. That means that when we’re looking for kids toys, nursery furniture, and accessories that we would have been able to find  at our local Walmart, ToysRus or garage sale in the states, those items are much harder to come across. Thanks to some other missionary friends we found a place other than the area pacas where toys and kid equipment can be found in Guatemala City! Continue reading ‘Finding quality kids accessories in Guatemala’

Make-it-yourself Brownie Mix

Here’s a handy money saver and fun option for gifts that I saw on Facebook…and also found here:

Never buy boxed brownie mix again! Follow the recipe below and make brownies for approximately .30 a mix!
So simple, so easy. Not just frugal but cuts out the unknown ingredients.

  • 1 Cup Sugar,
  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour,
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa,
  • 1/4 tsp Salt,
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder.

At Baking Time Add:

  • 2 Eggs,
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil,
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla.

For High Altitude remember to add about 1/2 cup of flour and about a table spoon of water!

Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan. OR use the amazing Pampered Chef brownie pan and bake it in much less time – depends on your oven, check after 12-15 minutes of baking and remove when brownies are done!
Put mix in plastic bags or mason jars

Mission Trip Devotional Resources

Team Devotionals in Action

I recently hosted a mission team from Michigan and they had some great team devotional and individual resources that they brought with them to encourage the youth to build in quiet times and deeper devotional times into their team’s down times.

I’m going to start referring new teams to this resource for those who don’t want to or have time to re-invent the wheel with their own custom devotional resources for the team.

LeaderTreks also has pre-trip and debriefing tools available.

Mission trips should be more than just mountain top experiences. They should be life changing.

via LeaderTreks Student Mission Trip Resources

An (Unexpected) Guatemalan Home Birth

Here’s the story of our second baby that God blessed us with in Guatemala. You can read about our first birth story here.

Meeting little sister

Meeting little sister

 

Baby on the way

Monday, Dec. 31
At 2 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Chrisi started feeling contractions (Her stomach getting hard, but this time with an uncomfortable feeling accompanying the hardness, just the exact same feeling as when she was in labor with Hudson.) Chrisi let Michael know about the contractions, but she quietly walked or relaxed during each one and she went about her regular activities like reading her Bible, filling out Hudson’s milestone calendar, cooking, etc.

Knowing that Baby was coming soon, she had Juana, our house helper, cut up a lot of onions to make 2 pounds of black beans in the pressure cooker because she wanted Hudson and Juana to have plenty of food to eat while she and Michael would be at the birthing clinic having the baby. Chrisi took a shower around 6 p.m. to get herself ready as she knew that they would eventually be heading to the midwifes clinic which was about 15-20 minutes away from the apartment. Michael and Chrisi even played two games of “Regenwormen” with Juana at the kitchen table after Hudson went to bed. Continue reading ‘An (Unexpected) Guatemalan Home Birth’

Comadrona en la Ciuidad de Guatemala

Una familia en frente de la clinica.

Centro De Parto Natural
Mientras que las parteras mayas o comadronas son comunes en el campo de Guatemala, la búsqueda de una partera que hable inglés en Guatemala puede ser difícil. Lo mejor que podemos decir es que encontramos a la única partera entrenada en Estados Unidos, de habla inglés en la ciudad de Guatemala cuando encontramos a Hannah Friewald en el Centro de Parto Natural, donde se especializa en los nacimientos en agua y tiene uno de los pocos, si no el único, centro de nacimiento en agua en toda América Central.

Historia de Hannah
Hannah es de Alemania, donde los partos en casa son la norma. Se ha rodeado de eso toda su vida y también habla perfectamente el inglés. Se formó en los Estados Unidos a través de la Maternidad La Luz en El Paso, Texas, y también está certificada en Guatemala (que puede ser una cosa importante si su seguro médico internacional sólo ofrece cobertura para la atención médica certificada).
Hannah ha trabajado como matrona desde hace años y ha asistido a unos 1.400 nacimientos a partir de mayo del 2011. Ella dijo que nunca ha perdido un bebé, e incluso habló de un par de bebés de nalgas que ha dado a luz y algunos bebés VBAC (Nacimiento Vaginal Después de la Cesárea) que tambien ha dado a luz, junto con un par de situaciones de emergencia. Ella ha dio a luz a bebés de los embajadores de un par de diferentes países de Europa, aquí en Guatemala y parece tener un horario lleno.
Nos quedamos muy contentos con el cuidado que nos dio a nosotros durante el parto de nuestro primer hijo. Ella se ocupó de nuestro parto de 31 horas con un enfoque profesional y atento que nos ayudó a tener la experiencia de parto que siempre quisimos. Sin duda, nos volveremos con Hannah cuando tengamos la oportunidad.
Continue reading ‘Comadrona en la Ciuidad de Guatemala’

How to Make Brown Sugar

My husband loves cookies, but most of his favorite recipes call for brown sugar. Here in Guatemala we haven’t found a good source for brown sugar that is like what we could get in the states. Oh, they have brown colored sugar that they sell in the Dispensa Familiar for about US$1.60 for a bag but it’s not the same. Recently, we discovered that we can make brown sugar on our own!

First you have to find molasses. We asked around and found two sources:
1) Guatemala City

There’s a little baking supply shop in San Cristobal in the shopping center located on the opposite side of the boulevard from Burger King/Cemaco. I don’t have the name right now, but I’ll try to add it later.

They charge by the pound for the molasses (about Q15/lb.) but that’ll make a bunch of brown sugar!
2) Quetzaltenango (Xela)

The Bake Shop is at 18 Av 1-40, Zone 3. Hours are 9am-6pm, Tuesday and Friday.

I’ve heard they have molasses but I don’t know the pricing.

Molasses and a cup of white sugar ready for combination!

Once you have your molasses on hand here’s the recipe:

1 cup of white sugar (non-sulfurized is best but you can use regular granulated sugar)

1 tablespoon of molasses

Mix these together. (You can add more or less of the molasses to have darker or lighter results.)

I found that the molasses kinda balls up in the sugar but a fork will mash it against the side of the bowl and mix it in really nicely!

Pour one tablespoon of molasses into one cup of sugar.

 

Use a fork or mixer to mash the molasses into the sugar until it is well mixed and fluffy!.

After you get the mix you like, store the fresh brown sugar in an airtight container, place on top of oatmeal, or mix up your next batch of cookies!

Fluffy new brown sugar on our oatmeal cereal breakfast!

 

I got this idea from Joy the Baker!

Prevention and cure: Dealing with mildew

Ok, so we spent a few days getting settled in to our apartment in Guatemala before heading off to the states for a visit. Right before we left, my dear husband closed the windows and the doors to our room, and sprayed some bug spray to try and keep any curious bugs away. We thought we were set for six weeks of traveling in the states!

Little did we know that for those six weeks the humidity in the highlands of Guatemala would continue to climb and our nicely closed up rooms would become giant growth chambers for mildew and mold!

Sure enough when we arrived back from our visit stateside, our bedroom welcomed us with the dank scent of mildew. Our clothes were damp, our pillows discolored and the musty smell was almost deafening. Yes, it hit our senses so hard we almost lost our hearing! Continue reading ‘Prevention and cure: Dealing with mildew’