Becoming a Mother of Three to Ten in One Day

Posted: September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

On Tuesdays we are surrounded with chubby babies and bare breasts. If breastfeeding makes you uncomfortable don’t visit on Tuesdays. You will have no where to look without seeing a mom feeding her baby.

One of our graduate moms walked in today with a newborn at her breast. I looked up and thought I was having a confused senior moment. There was Yverline feeding a newborn but her baby is 7 months old and huge compared to this fragile being. The story unfolded. I do not have dementia. Actually this story defines the very essence of our program; it is because of stories like this we exist and do what we do. Yverline’s sister, a mother of seven died after delivering this baby girl.

She delivered at home and she died at home. No midwife, no help for hemorrhage, no skilled attendant, no medicines, no quick action in an emergency, no one noticed as the life drifted from her – they were off getting her food. In an instant Haiti just got handed seven more orphans.

In an instant Yverline, mother of three, becomes mother of 10. Being 35 and having 7 babies makes a woman very high risk in Haiti. Did she have any prenatal care? Did she hemorrhage as her tired uterus couldn’t do its job after so many deliveries? Was she anemic?

Whatever the reasons she left behind a whole family that needed her. Most deaths are preventable. We have medicines, we have tricks of the trade, we see signs and usually know how to help a woman or we transport to the hospital. Most deaths don’t have to happen.

Lots of women choose to stay home to deliver because they don’t trust hospitals and they don’t know how to navigate the system at the overcrowded hospitals that are available to them. Many times overworked staff do not treat women respectfully so women stay home and deliver alone. All to often they die alone as well.

Our program is full. Our waiting list is long. Plans for our new site cannot happen fast enough. More skilled midwives can’t get here soon enough. What we do works and saves lives.

Yverline is already looking ahead at the responsibility on her shoulders. She asked Troy how she could put all these kids through school which is so important in Haiti. Education is valued and cherished but so very expensive. Yverline knows and her heart is heavy. She confided in Agathe that her husband is angry that she spent all their money on her sister’s funeral. We live in Haiti, we know how culturally important funerals are. Sad to say it would have taken us very little money’s worth of medicine to save this woman had she been part of our program. All women should have a skilled attendant at their birth. All women should get to live and raise the children they bear. Having a baby shouldn’t kill you.

Beth McHoul

Click here to see what Heartline is planning that we may give quality, loving care to more women.

  1. Laura says:

    God bless you….don’t know what else to say right now.

  2. Carla says:

    Words don’t seem like enough. Bless you as you extend Gods love to these young women. I hope there is some financial help for Yverline

  3. Keri Meier says:

    Such a touching story. I pray that God works with women like you to provide care for these women. There is so much that some of us women take for granted. I have given birth to 7 beautiful babies (last five at home, with an amazing midwife). I could not even imagine what such an experience would be like. God bless you and all of those that are working with you to improve upon the lives of these women.

  4. My heart is breaking as I read this. I’ve been praying for a long time that God would show me somewhere to put my money and prayers. I’m thinking I may have found it. So often I think at work how easily we prevent so many losses just from bleeding a privilege I know most women in the world don’t even have access too.

  5. Stacy says:

    how much does a year of school in Haiti cost?

    • johnmchoul says:

      The answer isn’t simple as the cost can vary from $200 a year to a $1000 or more. It can depend on the age of the child and other costs, such as: uniforms, shoes, sneakers, book, school supplies, back pack, meals and so on.

  6. Michele says:

    Do you have a fund set up for Yverline’s family so they can keep all the children together?

    • johnmchoul says:

      We are gathering info and will sit with Yverline and see what she is thinking about keeping the children together. Does she have any extended family that can help? What are the ages of the children? Is there a man in the picture? Have the children been to school? Once we gather such info we then can know better how to help.

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