Monday, October 06, 2014

Honoring a Heroine

(What is a Midwife?) Midwives Are Trained Professionals 

Midwives are the traditional care providers for mothers and infants. Midwives are trained professionals with expertise and skills in supporting women to maintain healthy pregnancies and have optimal births and recoveries during the postpartum period. Midwives provide women with individualized care uniquely suited to their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs. Midwifery is a woman-centered empowering model of maternity care that is utilized in all of the countries of the world with the best maternal and infant outcomes such as The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Canada. (source MANA)
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International Day of the Midwife is in May, but apparently the USA celebrates Midwives in October, for an entire week. Who am I to ignore or miss out on a USA celebration?

As Robert Brault said, There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate.”  

I marvel daily at how joyous it is to have found the vocation of my heart at this perfect time in life when my kids are bigger and I have the ability to do more outside my home.  

There are so many midwives that have inspired me along the way and have spoken truth and life and hope to me in the infancy of my career. Tonight I want to write about one of them.

Meet Marie Jose, pictured on the right. She is with her daughter Wini, a friend of mine and a stellar nurse/midwife at Heartline.

Marie Jose worked for decades in the area of Maternal Health. She worked seven years at a hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti, She also delivered hundreds of babies in the areas she lived for many years. 

When I met with her last week she told me that she estimated she had assisted more than 3,000 women with the birth of their babies. She has delivered American, Canadian, and Haitian babies. She has delivered twins, conjoined twins, triplets, and breech babies. She has worked without water, without electricity, without supplies, without adequate rest or help. 

When I said, "Because of your hard work, many mothers and babies in Haiti are alive", Marie Jose nodded solemnly,there is no denying God has used her to touch the lives of Haitian women.

Marie Jose had a stroke about 18 months ago. Since her stroke she cannot walk or do what she loves. Her daughters care for her well and have learned to understand and interpret her slurred speech.  She remembers a lot. She can tell you stories about birth and life and death. She knows hope and sorrow more intimately than most of us. 

I know that Marie Jose will never be recognized in any fancy ceremony, or thanked by her government. I highly doubt most of her amazing stories and unique knowledge will ever be recorded, but I would like you to know about her and I would like to ask you to pray for her and her daughters and grandchildren. 

She has given much to her country and her people.  In the true meaning of "midwife", Marie Jose has given her life to be "with women".