By Anne Fadiman
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Extra resources for The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
The Lees think that sometime the souls of many of the remainder of their kinfolk could have far to go back and forth, due to the fact that they're going to need to retrace their steps from Merced, California, the place the kin has spent fifteen of its seventeen years during this kingdom; to Portland, Oregon, the place they lived ahead of Merced; to Honolulu, Hawaii, the place their plane from Thailand first landed; to 2 Thai refugee camps; and eventually again to their domestic village in Laos. The Lees’ 13th baby, Mai, used to be born in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her placenta was once buried below their hut. Their fourteenth baby, Lia, used to be born within the Merced group clinical heart, a contemporary public health facility that serves an agricultural county in California’s valuable Valley, the place many Hmong refugees have resettled. Lia’s placenta used to be incinerated. a few Hmong ladies have requested the medical professionals at MCMC, because the sanatorium is usually known as, in the event that they may perhaps take their infants’ placentas domestic. numerous of the medical professionals have acquiesced, packing the placentas in plastic luggage or take-out bins from the medical institution cafeteria; so much have refused, occasionally simply because they've got assumed that the ladies deliberate to devour the placentas, and feature came across that concept disgusting, and in certain cases simply because they've got feared the prospective unfold of hepatitis B, that is carried by means of a minimum of fifteen percentage of the Hmong refugees within the usa. Foua by no means idea to invite, considering that she speaks no English, and whilst she added Lia, nobody current spoke Hmong. as a minimum, the Lees’ residence had a wood flooring coated with wall-to-wall carpeting, so burying the placenta may were a tricky proposition. whilst Lia was once born, at 7:09 p. m. on July 19, 1982, Foua was once mendacity on her again on a metal desk, her physique coated with sterile drapes, her genital quarter painted with a brown Betadine resolution, with a high-wattage lamp proficient on her perineum. there have been no kin within the room. Gary Thueson, a kin perform resident who did the supply, famous within the chart that during order to hurry the exertions, he had artificially ruptured Foua’s amniotic sac through poking it with a foot-long plastic “amni-hook” that no anesthesia was once used; that no episiotomy, an incision to amplify the vaginal beginning, used to be priceless; and that when the beginning, Foua bought a customary intravenous dose of Pitocin to constrict her uterus. Dr. Thueson additionally famous that Lia was once a “healthy child” whose weight, eight kilos 7 oz., and situation have been “appropriate for gestational age” (an estimate he according to remark by myself, due to the fact that Foua had bought no prenatal care, used to be no longer yes how lengthy she were pregnant, and will no longer have instructed Dr. Thueson no matter if she had known). Foua thinks that Lia used to be her biggest child, even if she isn’t definite, when you consider that none of her 13 elder young ones have been weighed at start. Lia’s Apgar ratings, an review of a infant infant’s center expense, respiratory, muscle tone, colour, and reflexes, have been stable: one minute after her start she scored 7 on a scale of 10, and 4 mins later she scored nine.