Thursday, June 26, 2014

a gift for guerda

Storytelling when it is your own story, totally doable.   Storytelling when the story is not yours, but that of a beloved friend, well ... less than totally doable.  
I don't want to over or under tell it.

My sister has let me write about her.  My daughters have allowed me to write about them.  I have not asked Guerda if I can write about her.  My guess is she would smile and give me the "wi wi" routine. (That is "yes", not urine.)

Guerda has longed for a child for many years.  Many.  If I told you how many I would only be telling you one of a few versions of history that have been recorded.  

Guerda is what we lovingly refer to as a "poor historian".   

Surviving the month, the year, the next day ... That is what she and her loved ones focus their energy on. No, I am not suggesting she stands at death's door all the live long day. I am suggesting that life is very challenging and Guerda needs to think about how to make money and to afford shelter and how to get food to eat, hopefully on a daily basis. Keeping track of her long medical and pregnancy history was not first on her agenda or her mind.

Suffice it to say, Guerda has lost many babies. We think seven, but we have also counted eight and nine at different tellings of the stories. We know once it was stillborn twins. We know many pregnancies made it well into the second trimester. It matters we get it right because every life matters.  It sorta doesn't matter because we know enough to know it is very grave and difficult and incredibly sad.

Guerda delivered one of her still-born babies with Heartline midwives (Beth M and Jonna) attending to her in the month of June, the year of the earthquake. Dr. Sizemore of TN helped via phone and internet. That was when we first became intimately involved in her complicated history.  

Not so long after that Guerda began working at Heartline and worked with Andrema (some know Andrema as Cherline) at the Maternity Center doing housekeeping and laundry and sometimes working with the cooks. In early 2013 she had an first trimester miscarriage.

When Guerda told us she thought she was pregnant in December of last year, honestly, we all sort of groaned nervously.  We entered into this pregnancy thinking, "Oh boy, this could end in another heart-break."  Guerda seemed hopeful and we of course couldn't blame her, eventually we all switched gears - and arrived at hopeful and tried not to think about the difficult possibility of another loss.

Early in the pregnancy a midwife/NP from Omaha, NE named Martha came and visited like she sometimes does.  She is hilarious. I love her because she swears. Other people love her because she is blunt and direct and uber smart.   All that to say, we love her. She looked at Guerda's history and gave her educated guess about why Guerda had lost so many babies. After that another visiting midwife from Kansas did tons of research on Martha's (correct) guess and then a midwife in Texas donated the expensive daily injections that Guerda needed. Then as the pregnancy went on and things got more and more complicated the team in Haiti worked with Dr. Jen in Minnesota and we put Guerda on bed rest and gave the baby a little lung boost with steroids and kept asking all of you to pray.  (Side note: One of the posts we shared about Guerda on FaceBook was shared 25 times and seen by 7,500 people.For our little ministry, that was big! If even half of those that saw it prayed; WOW.)

At the 33 week and 5 day mark, Guerda was transferred to PIH Hospital to prepare for a C-section. They did the C-section last Friday morning.

The little miracle babe never needed oxygen, she was born 4 pounds and 2 ounces.  Her Momma could not be shining any brighter right now.  They are back at Heartline and resting and bonding in the postpartum area.  We expect them to stay for several weeks while baby Sophonie puts on some weight and Guerda has her blood pressure monitored closely.

At times we find that we can get buried in the sad situations and challenges of Haiti.  Today we celebrate something beautiful. We always, always want to thank God and those of you that carry this little Maternity Center in your prayers when we see His goodness and provision.

Please join us in welcoming Sophonie Estives to the world!
Congratulations to Guerda and Wilton!!!

Post Script -
I asked Guerda today before I hit publish.  She said, "Share the miracle on the internet".

When and if there is more news to share about this beautiful family, we will!

with nurses, Wini and Nirva

with midwife, Beth M.

with midwife, Beth J.

Via Beth McHoul - "I woke up feeling so amazed at the goodness of God. Seeing Guerda holding her sweet baby after so many heart wrenching losses is like a dream. Her mothering skills are just perfect and baby knows just what to do. Guerda is a local celebrity with people popping in to visit her. People know a miracle when they see one. Thank you Guerda for holding on and believing what God could do. In this land of so many crushing set backs and disappointments this victory, this baby, this miracle tells us to keep on keeping on!"