We met Guerda right after the earthquake in 2010. She was 8 weeks pregnant and came in for a prenatal visit. She wore a Donna Karan cap with dollar signs all over it. It would be her signature lid for months. I knew her by her cap. That was just before I started to know her by her blood pressure. At her first visit I took her BP. I was a new midwife and the stroke level numbers the machine read made me stop, stare and go get another machine. Not possible. A young, thin, healthy looking girl can’t possibly have this high of a blood pressure. But, she did. She still does. We just know how to manage it better now 5 years down the road.
We were still picking up the pieces from the earthquake and the Heartline Field Hospital was in full swing. As Guerda’s pregnancy advanced and her BP went even higher we put her on bed rest at the field hospital. She had a cot in our makeshift community and she joined in on church every night. She believed. She trusted. She lost the baby like she had lost several before.
Jonna Howard and I were the midwives on staff at the time. Every few days we would check Guerda, shake our heads at her BP in spite of meds and check the baby. Heart rate still galloping along. And then it didn’t. Stopped. Silent. A precious baby girl had slipped away and Guerda was left with the grueling task of labor and delivery. We attended her with tears of sorrow rather than joy. Guerda was quiet, sad and accepting. Her husband was quiet and loving.
Guerda came back looking for work from time to time. I am still mocked that I tried to get her to use a solar oven to make cakes and sell them. Troy rolled his eyes when I asked him for the solar oven. Guerda hadn’t a clue. It was a fail. She came back looking for work again and we hired her to help out Cherline at the maternity center. She once again became part of our family.
Pregnant again and back on bed rest she went. This time we gave her a bed and a TV. No more earthquake conditions. Guerda set the TV on the Haitian gospel station at full volume and never turned it off. We joined in whether we wanted to or not. She prayed, she sang, she took her meds, she rested, she believed and her baby grew. This time the heart beat never stopped. Her BP continued to taunt us with high numbers but the baby girl persevered in growing and developing. Meds that costs $15 US daily were donated to keep this high-risk pregnancy going. A box of meds costing thousands was worth millions and millions for the life they were saving. We all got involved, we all dared to love and believe. Day by day, heartbeat-by-heartbeat we were daring to believe that Guerda might have a living baby. We held our collective breath, prayed without ceasing and scheduled a cesarean at 34 weeks.
Guerda, the girl who lost several babies at different stages of pregnancy came home to us with a living, perfect little girl! Guerda, who watched moms come and go in our program, now has a baby of her own. It is precious watching her lovingly care for this tiny miracle baby. Cherline calls her “Mademoiselle Miracle”! Indeed she is! I am so grateful for Guerda’s persistence, her trust in her Savior Jesus and the skilled team who took care of her.
“Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning!”