At 7pm, getting kids homework done, preparing for bedtime, giving baths...At 8pm, driving an ambulance down a bumpy dark road while a baby girl enters the world.
Chrismene came in a few minutes after 7 last night. She was at the 36 week mark of her pregnancy. In Haiti if you deliver a preemie, you're stuck caring for the preemie. If you want the preemie to have every chance at equimpment and higher-level care the baby needs to be born in the hospital. That's the system. It is close to impossible to bring a baby to the hospital after it is born and get the hospital to receive it. They focus on babies they have delivered and they are almost always filled to capcity.
36 weeks is right at the line, but Chrismene measured very small and her dates had been in question because she joined the program 20 weeks (estimated) into her pregnancy. She is in the Haitian Creations program and we've known her for years. Beth checked Chrismene and decided we better not risk a tiny baby and we headed out in the ambulance. We picked up Wini to be with us to try to negotiate our way into the hospital. Right after Wini joined us, a 5pound 10ounce baby girl joined us too! Ambulance run cancelled, we headed back to the Maternity Center instead.
Chrismene will be seeking a prize of some sort - she was the first of the ladies to give birth in the ambulance. All is well.
23 days without any babies - now 3 babies in 5 days - that's the system, too.