Thursday, May 14, 2015

It Is Good To Remember: Mica's Story

After a busy prenatal day we went to the file cabinet to search for Mica’s file. 

We quickly found it, organized by her son’s date of birth in the April 2014 section of the file cabinet.

“Let’s take a trip down memory lane”, we said.

“Come sit with us, Mica.”

We sat on the bed looking over her file together.  Her story is one that we are all a small part of, one none of us will ever forget.

She smiled and laughed as we recalled the first time each of us met her. 

She says her story is a picture of God’s healing and grace and she wants us to share His faithfulness with you.

* * * *

Mica arrived at the Maternity Center in late 2013 at the urging of neighbors and friends that knew she needed help.

Fifteen days into a dating relationship, the man Mica had just begun to get to know sexually assaulted her.

Very quickly after the rape, Mica was devastated to learn she was pregnant.

In her 9th week of pregnancy, we met a woman clearly hurting and suffering from depression and trauma. 

Not only had she suffered the assault and the trauma surrounding it, but she also had the weight of many decisions to make surrounding the baby she carried.  

Mica’s church asked her to step down from her position leading worship and singing. A single pregnant woman is something the church believed it should hide. The shame Mica took upon herself after that was unfair and heavy.

We began to work with Mica much the way we begin with each woman.  The Maternity Center is about community and relationship; both of those things take time. Each week we learned a little more about Mica, her history, her dreams, and her personality. 

She struggled for months wondering if she could love a baby that was a product of such a traumatic event in her life. 

Over the next several months we listened and tried to remain supportive of what Mica needed as she made her decisions for herself and her unborn baby.

The delivery day arrived. Mica arrived in early labor and worked hard all day to make progress. 

Watching someone dig deep and muster up courage to fight both physical and emotional pain is something we all consider a holy moment.  

That day we were in the front row for several holy moments, just as we have continued to be many times since then.

Mica’s baby was positioned in her pelvis with a “face presentation”.

Most babies who are presenting face first are born just as normally as babies who are in a vertex presentation (crown first).

Complications will generally only occur if the baby's chin rotates towards the woman's back rather then towards the front. The chin is referred to as the 'mentum', and this position is called a 'mentum-posterior position', it only happens with about 10% of babies in a face position. 

Thankfully, Mica’s baby had his chin rotated toward the front (‘mentum-anterior position’) and we talked with Mica and all believed we were safe to continue on with a delivery at our Maternity Center.

After several hours of labor Mica’s membranes ruptured. (The bag of waters broke.) When that happened the baby began to show obvious signs of distress and we quickly moved toward the ambulance for a traffic-filled and dramatic ride to the hospital.

Mica delivered her son, Cael, via cesarean section shortly after arriving at the hospital. 

We were able to visit Mica, but definitely felt sad to not be able to care for her immediately following delivery. We knew she would benefit from being loved and cared for by a staff that knew her history and could better meet her emotional needs. 

Once the hospital discharged Mica, she came to rest for many days at the postpartum room at Heartline’s Maternity Center.

There were several people praying for Mica in those days.  Maybe you were one of them. 

We prayed, observed, hoped, and wondered if a bond would be formed between Mother and child and we were thrilled as we watched it happen before our eyes.

The recovery was slow for Mica. She suffered from Mastitis and had the Chikungunya Virus in the weeks she was also recovering from a C-Section. She fought hard for healing and for her son. We learned a lot from watching her.

All women that wish to come for Early Childhood Development class for six months following their delivery are invited to come each Tuesday.  Mica faithfully attended each Tuesday for six months.

Not too long after Mica graduated from the program we asked her if she would like to consider joining us on Wednesdays at the state-run maternity hospital.  We were planning to teach breastfeeding and sing a song there each week and Mica’s voice and singing talent are unparalleled.  

Mica agreed to join us on Wednesdays and shortly thereafter she joined our team as a regular staff member, putting to use the skills she had learned in a nursing school several years prior.

One day earlier this year a couple of us had the same thought. We wondered if perhaps Mica would want to take her nursing assistant degree and use that base of knowledge to apply for training as a Certified Birth Attendant.  

The shortest possible version of that story is this:  Mica passed the entrance test with flying colors, was accepted into the Midwives for Haiti Birth Attendant class of 2015-2016, and a generous sponsor has agreed to cover the costs of her schooling. She will begin her training this summer. 

We are all incredibly excited to have Mica in the birth room with us. We know we will get to see her use her difficult experiences to love and serve other hurting women.

* * * *

Late last week in the month of April, on the one-year anniversary of the day Cael was born, we sat on the bed together remembering all that God has done, all that Mica has accomplished, all the grace and mercy we have been witnesses to this last year and a half. 

It is good to remember.

~From Heartline Ministries May Newsletter~