Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More from Beth in Haiti ...

Carline (new photos in the previous post, scroll down) and baby are home and settled in as mother and child.  Carline had a marathon labor and horrific birth and she will probably tell the story for years to come.  We raise the bar of what women expect out of their birth experience and they are terribly disappointed when they get cheated out of delivering with us.  Carline is sweet, cooperative and doesn't expect much from life.  No husband, no job, a tiny house, not much of an education.  Somehow she found our program and started to learn about how important she is as a mother, how much God loves her, how she can try to shape her life with good choices.  She is learning that she is worthy of respect and honor.  She was blindsided by a  birth experience that ended up being at a large, overcrowded, understaffed hospital.  But, she came through fine, the baby is fine and she has moved out of our prenatal program and into our child development one.

Today we had another birth with a young girl named Florence.  It went perfectly as we wish all births would.  She came in yesterday with a few cramps.  Like any first time mom she was sure she would deliver any minute.  We sent her home for the night with instructions to rest, drink and eat.  Then the phone calls started.  In a voice way too happy to be active labor Florence would tell me she needed me to get her right away.  I held her off (after 6 phone conversations) until 5:30 this morning.  Then I went and picked her up along with the baby's dad and two sisters.  Immediately Florence was at ease.  She was prepared after being with us for many months of prenatals.  She responded to our every suggestion and cooperated throughout labor.  After bathing, putting on a new gown, drinking and having all her needs attended to Florence delivered a baby boy on our birth bed.  Right where she was supposed to be with three midwives and lots of love and encouragement. 
Florence and her new son

Florence said later, "I listened in class, I knew what to do, and I did it."  Not all births go so easily but we sure rejoice when they do.  Our program works and when all goes well our women deliver surrounded by beauty, emergency medical supplies and love.
Jonna & Beth (midwives) with Florence & sisters

Today our maternity center did what it was made to do - it gave a mom and baby a safe birth, great post-partum care and a positive experience.  Every woman should have this whether she has a perfect birth or an emergency situation.  All women deserve good care.  All babies should come into the world surrounded by love and equipment to save their lives if necessary.  Today it happened.  We are working towards it happening every time.