Posted: October 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s national midwifery week and what a week we have had!  Our maternity center is a busy place with pregnant women, post-partum women, women for family planning, women for Bible Study.  Across the street is a house full of teen moms who have gone through our program.

Every day we fight malnutrition, anemia, high blood pressure, and poverty.  We fight for ladies who cannot fight for themselves.

Many come through, take their vitamins, eat the high protein food, enjoy class and prenatal care and end up with a chubby, healthy baby.  Success.  We love it.  Sometimes the road to success is bumpy and full of surprises and it blindsides us with crisis’s that are life threatening.

Lourdes Milla is one of the young girls at Harbor House.  Her pregnancy was fairly uneventful and she was one of the healthier teens although she came from terrible home circumstances.    One of the benefits of weekly prenatals and constant care is we can see problems coming.  We see blood pressure’s climbing.  We know when a girl is anemic or not gaining enough weight.   We can be proactive in our care.  Lourdes Milla shocked us all when she had ecclamptic seizures out of the blue.  Doctor Jen and I were on a journey down south to pick up another pregnant woman, Mama Emmanuel, a Heartline Hospital favorite.  We made great time and were heading back to Port because we got the message that Alloune, another teen mom, was in early labor.  We are a midwife pack, along with our baby specialist, Doctor Jen, and we all want to be present for the births.  I stepped on the gas and made great time heading back to the city.  Just a few miles from home we hit traffic.  Blocked.  Stopped.  Dead.

A call came, then two, then three that Lourdes Milla had seized.  Troy was loading up the ambulance while we were trying to get back.  Jonna and Britt had been shopping and were making their way back as well.  IVs needed to be started, meds pushed,  time couldn’t be wasted, a baby and a mom could be lost.  I pushed the horn and the gas pedal, drove on the wrong side of the road and flew to meet the ambulance.  Jen jumped out along the road and climbed into the ambulance while I headed back to the maternity center to meet Tara and laboring Alloune.  She delivered about 10 minutes after our arrival.

Teenagers never do what you expect.  Even in labor.  Even in crisis.  By night’s end we had two new babies and two mom’s safe.  Lourdes Milla had an emergency c/section and we are watching her closely.

We had other births this week and by week’s end our thoughts were blurry and our bodies tired.  But we know this – God showed up, and He moved on behalf of young moms and their babies.  They matter.  Their babies matter.  God looks after them and loves them.

Tonight another lady with high blood pressure had to be transported to the hospital.  Her blood pressure was dangerously high.  She is 39 years old and this is her first baby.  She has had great prenatal care but in the last week her blood pressure climbed and intervention had to happen.   She is a lovely lady and she and her husband want a baby.  At prenatals we end the session by praying with each woman, she is the only one who would turn around and pray for her care-givers.  Tonight we are praying for her and her little one.

As we look back we see the hand of God woven through our week.  Present at every birth, putting life saving puzzle pieces together.  God loves these women, whether they are teens without a home, without a husband, without a family and He loves the older, established women who have husbands and a stable life.  He loves the broken, those in danger, those without hope.

As a midwifery team we drink a lot of coffee and diet coke.  We eat lots of snacks  and stay up long after others are sleeping.  We clean up body fluids, we see women at their weakest and we witness their incredible strength.  We get to usher newborn people to the planet.  We get to touch little heads of hair for the first time.  We watch a first breath.

Sometimes we have a brush with death.  A dangerous situation visits us.  Things that couldn’t be anticipated happen.  That’s the nature of what we do in a third world country.  We will have surprises.  But our God is never surprised.  He knows.  He puts pieces together.  He saves lives, He intervenes.

A midwife, every mother and baby should have one!  Pray for us during this special week for International Midwives.

Beth McHoul


  1. kathy says:

    God bless you all!

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