We Lost Three Women From Our Program Today…

Posted: January 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

madewithOverWe lost three women from our program today.  Three young ladies who were hoping they would deliver with us.  Three ladies eager to have weekly prenatal care, a meal at each visit, vitamins, class, friendship, and the security of knowing the midwives, who will care for them in their most vulnerable moments, when labor comes.

We are not a hospital and we do not specialize in high-risk care although we often are forced to be involved in high-risk situations.  It’s a catch 22 thing.  I sat with two lovely ladies today and told them their blood pressure is consistently too high for our program.  They are both early in their pregnancies and need specialized care.  More than we are equipped to give.  We told them where to go to find programs that are designed to help them.

But, will they go?  And if they do go will they get the help they need?  Will the long lines, hours of waiting, chaos and lack of friendliness cause them to give up?  Will they then get no care?   The system is difficult and almost impossible to navigate.  These two precious ladies may not get the help they need.

The third lady came in this morning in preterm labor.  She works for Haitian Creations and comes quite a distance across town to work and to be in our program.  She is 36 years old and this is her first pregnancy.  She and her husband have waited a long time to have a baby.

The contractions were strong and the baby too small.  Tara drove our ambulance and Wini took them in to the hospital we transport to.  They have a lot of success with tiny babies and perhaps could save this one.  We heard later they transferred her to another hospital that in turn transferred her to yet another.  Where will they end up on this critical, frightening, and catastrophic day in their lives?

The first hospital specializes in preterm babies and in obstetric catastrophes.    Why they transported, we don’t know.  Why did the second hospital send them off as well?  We don’t know.  As with our own program, having no space is often a reason for saying no.

Our dear lady delivered a 2.8-pound baby boy who survived only into the night.  Mom and Dad are now home grieving the only child they ever had.  We will support them, and encourage them to try again when the time is right.  Our hearts are heavy.

As all this is going on girls, from our weekly teen class, came bouncing in looking for their certificates of graduation from our Teen Ethics program.  They cherish their poster board certificates with their names in bold across the front.  I eye each one of them as they stride by hoping the lessons from their classes will embed deep in their souls.  I pray they will make good choices and that opportunity in this land of few opportunities, finds them.  I pray they don’t have babies too soon, have money each year for education and that they are not forced into bad situations.  Like teens anywhere they are full of life, full of joy, full of dance.  I pray the hardships of Haiti do not steal away their innocence or love of life.  We seek to empower them with tools.  Every Saturday they join us for skits, lessons, songs, role-plays and power points.  May they stay forever young in a world where many are far too old too soon.

We have a lot of success mixed with our sorrows.  Our ladies deliver healthy babies; our teens learn to make good choices.   Our women are empowered with more ammunition for having healthy babies and keeping them alive.    Sadness visits occasionally, a baby is lost, a mom has to leave the program due to high risk but for the majority help is found, community and health care works and the gospel thrives in the lives of these women.  It works.

Beth McHoul

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