TEEN TALK by Beth McHoul

Posted: August 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Thirteen – they all seem to be thirteen.  Adorable, tiny, and most have little understanding about what is happening to their body.    A positive pregnancy test and they are ushered into our program like they have a fast pass at Disney.  The ride they are heading on is a bumpy one.  But they already know trauma.  They were raped or coerced or just wanted to be loved and probably had no idea it could bring about a baby.

We sat with a 13 year old yesterday and heard her story yet she doesn’t even know her story.  Pregnant but she never knew it, had pain, that she knew, and then she ended up with a cesarean section.  She’s told she had a baby but she has no understanding or connection with that.   True story.


We have another teen that for the first several weeks of her prenatal care was disinterested, flat, bored with us and unfaithful in attendance.  During a prenatal I explained how our little machine could hear the baby’s heartbeat and together we heard the thump, thump, thump of a heartbeat twice the speed of an adults.  I looked up to tears streaming down the face of this teen.  Connection.  Love.  Faithful attendance and engagement.  Hooked by the power of mother love.  She will need lots of support and help but she is on the road to keeping and raising her little one.  She can do it!

Another 13 year old with a positive pregnancy test.  She escapes us and the truth momentarily by hiding her face under our pillow.   She cries and we send for family to talk to.  She returns the following week and her test is negative.  Her stories don’t jive.  We do an exam, treat her for infections, she eats food and hangs out with us all day.  She basks in the love of our community.

It has long been our policy to accept older pregnant women and teen pregnant girls into our program.  The older women who have had many children tend to hemorrhage and die during childbirth at home and leave a family full of orphans.  We have drugs and midwifery skills to prevent this so we invite them into the program willingly.  We accept teens so we can support and educate them, give them a safe birth and help them to parent.  Some are amazingly great moms.

Our program works and it was designed to keep moms and babies alive and together.

But our neighborhood is full of 12,13, 14 year olds who are not pregnant but could be.  The sperm and egg are no respecter of persons.  As a result of rape or love the sperm makes it way and meets an egg and another person is made.  The mom could be 13 or 30.  Understanding or not understanding.  Wanting a baby or ignorant of how they are made.  Life begins wanted or unwanted.  Our job is to help them be wanted, cared for and cherished.

Our co-worker and incredibly great nurse Wini said recently, “We need a program so young girls won’t need our program!”  Indeed we do!  A class, a club, with cookies, and games and information on their bodies, their emotions and their spiritual life.  A prevention club.   A safe place to learn about how their bodies work and how to make really good choices.  Some girls don’t have the power of choice but if we can arm them with information and help perhaps some pregnancies can be avoided and 13 year olds can be in the school room instead of the birth room.

We are feeling the tug of the Holy Spirit in this.  We are sensing the nudge to educate, love and help teens navigate this tough world in which they live.  Even with her head hidden under our pillow, her face wet with tears, God hears and loves each young girl.  We pray to have Him use us to touch a few.

Beth McHoul

Heartline Maternity

  1. Laura Corbett says:

    Message to the ministry….I visited the church in March of 2008 and was so drawn to Haiti to serve. I came along with Pastor/Papa John from Cazale and Real Hope for Haiti that morning and as tears streamed down my face I agreed to go where God leads….it’s been an adventure since, both here in Maine and Haiti. In November I plan to join with Physicians for Haiti, a group from Boston, MA who is committed to developing the medical education of providers in Haiti, to teach at the UniFA medical school. Do you know if this is anywhere close to the church? I’d really love to visit. The school is located in Tabarre? Do you know it?

    I have followed your monthly newsletters and lift you up in prayer regularly, praying that God will provide for your needs in many ways and also asking Him if He might lead me to join you in future ministry in Haiti.

    Blessings to all of you at Heartline…you are a TRUE God Heartline!


  2. Kathy says:

    It’s a sad situation. I hope you can get the program going. Doubley sad that sometimes they don’t have the power over their own bodies.

  3. Everly says:

    Oh, I would love to support a program like that! Great thinking, Wini.

  4. Kim says:

    Wow, this touched my heart. I want to help!

  5. Chelsea Wiersma says:

    I understand that there are many, many young girls in Haiti that are getting pregnant and don’t understand what it means or why they are getting pregnant. What are some ways that we can continue to educate young girls not just in Heartline, but in communities all throughout Haiti? It makes me wonder what it is that makes our cultures so different that in the U.S young kids are well aware of how pregnancy occurs. Is it just that their parents are not teaching them, or does the culture as a whole not understand? I think that this whole mission that you have is really great and I would love to get involved in it and help in any way that I can. I like how you are creating something that is not only informational, but also a fun and loving environment for the girls. I love the fact that you are planning on having fun games to help them learn about thier bodies. Not only do they need to be taught about themselves, but as future mothers they need to be taught how to love. Keep up the good work! I will be in Haiti all summer so if you ever need any help or an intern please contact me!

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