Final day in Mungeli

We awake and barely have time for a second cup of coffee before being called to the operating room again. A c-section.

The mother has had one boy, now three years old, and two still births. Dr. Anil Henry arrives and puts on his surgical gown. Again, a short prayer and a compassionate look in the mother’s eyes before he begins to operate.

In no time the baby is out, squirming and wailing. It really was amazing.

Seconds after deliver, a healthy baby girl rests on her mother's legs as Dr. Henry and a surgical assistant cut the chord.

The last time I fully saw a c-section was almost five years ago when my son, Magnus, was born at 25 weeks under very different circumstances.

Shane Robert’s other daughter, 17 year-old Marcee, was present for the entire delivery. It was touching to see her holding the mother’s hand and stroking her head.

A quick clean of the baby and she is shown to mother before being taken outside to see the family. A grandmother flashes a quick grin and grabs the baby. The people here, at least in Mungeli, are rather stoic about their babies. The mother didn’t ask about the sex of the baby or even to see her. Other than the brief smile of the grandmother, the family seems emotionless.

Shane Robert’s wife, Lisa, is in India for a few months working on a study project that is asking what the emotional effects of still-birth are among Indian women. Given the stoic responses to many life situations, the results of her study will be very interesting.

Clean up and off to Medical Sunday church service. The Rev. Kelly Brill delivers the message, again thanking and encouraging the staff of the hospital for their gifts to us. Lots of singing – all in Hindi – and a recognition of staff along with prayers.

Out the door, we are shuttled to a sugar cane processing site about 30 minutes out of Mungeli. The cane is crushed to extract the juices then boiled in three different vats, being scooped from vat to vat as each batch thickens. The result is jaggery, a hard brown sugar candy that tastes like molasses. It is found in the market stalls and stores here, both as a treat and to use in cooking.

Jaggery (sugar cane block) production outside Mungeli, India.

Eating it fresh and warm from the pan, before it fully hardens was pretty awesome!

Back to the hospital and off to market quickly – some of the places we wanted to visit are closed so we head back early. Then working on an article and a few other things like clothes and packing, before heading to the Henry’s for our going away party tonight.

We head to Delhi in the morning and I have no idea what the Internet situation will be at our hotel, so I’ll post as much as I can before we leave and update when it is possible.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Final day in Mungeli

  1. Bob Reich

    Thanks for all the sharing and pics. Looking forward to your future programs and magazine.

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