JENNY: PREGNANT, HIV POSITIVE, BUT NOT WITHOUT HOPE

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Jenny has been in our program twice.  She delivered with us two years ago and that child has been claimed by the baby’s father’s mother.  Jenny is petite, barely looks pregnant at 16 weeks, and is always dressed fashionable.  Nails painted, cute outfit, hair done.  A typical young woman in any culture.  How does she pull this off I wonder, she doesn’t have money enough to eat and is going from house to house to sleep.  Teen mentality, she is seeking to be pretty, putting fashion before food.  Hair before shelter.  Today over tomorrow.

But tomorrow visited this week at prenatals.  Tomorrow had bad news.

Jenny has been coming around again seeking help.  First for money for an abortion which we didn’t give.  Then for shelter.  She has been coming for prenatals joining in on the class.  We do routine labs as part of our prenatal care.

Among other positive results was an HIV positive.  We did the test twice.  We’ll send her for further testing.  We’ll get her into a program that gives meds.  HIV is not like years ago,  today there is hope.  Today there are meds.

She sat quietly in our exam room as we gave her the results.  Recognition registering on her face, she wailed, she wanted to flee, far away from this news, this situation, this life now screaming death.  The baby’s dad has many women she tells us, the mother in law has her first baby, there is domestic violence and now there is the unveiling of an insidious truth that has been lurking in their bodies – HIV.

We asked Jenny to return the next morning to the maternity center.  She did not.  I wonder where she went, what she did with the news we gave her.  I am reminded of a scene in the movie “Forrest Gump” where another Jenny, also abused, throws rocks at her childhood home until she lays in the ground exhausted.  Forrest, in his simple wisdom remarks, “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.”

I’m worried what Jenny will do with this information.  We’ve had another mom throw rocks at the house of her former partner who gave her HIV.  In Haiti rocks are a weapon.  We have no shortage of them.  We are worried for her safety.  We are concerned that she won’t comply with getting into a program and getting the help her body and her baby need.  We are worried the terror that grips her will keep her from getting the very help she needs.

We don’t throw rocks at our maternity center.  We teach.  We pray.  We encourage.  Through the months our ladies learn that God’s plan is best, sex within marriage is best, purity has rewards.  For most these are new concepts and they may not live in a situation where this is possible.  They are often forced and have been since they were little girls.  Sex is a fact of life that they have to give whether they want to or not.  STDs, HIV, and pregnancy are byproducts of sex often forced upon them.  We treat the STDs, send women to HIV programs and cherish the pregnancy and babies.

These women, living in very difficult circumstances, cherish their babies too.  With help, they do a great job at parenting.

We are not sure at this point what Jenny did with her HIV status information.  We are not sure how to help her.  But we do know we will help her, stand along side her, and walk through this with her.  We have a rock, a firm rock, an unmovable rock in Christ Jesus and He hears her cry and will respond.  He weaves these women into our lives and will give a plan.  Long before the blood test He knew.  He’s the rock and we can stand on Him.

Beth McHoul

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Comments
  1. lise says:

    powerful as always Beth…

  2. […] example, Jenny came to Heartline asking for an abortion. (Excerpt from blog by Beth […]

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