She had arrived three hours earlier with very heavy bleeding due to an incomplete miscarriage at 14+ weeks gestation.
After several interventions, one of them quite painful, she was resting in the birth room.
For Lovely- birth did not result in life.
Mercifully, she was "stable" and the bleeding had stopped.
No Midwife or Nurse will ever complain about "stable" after an hour or so of heavy blood loss and uncertainty.
The thing is, stable is a medical word. It forgets (or ignores) the emotional piece - and the trauma of loss.
Stable does not apply to one's feelings.
I entered the room.
"Yes, Lovely? How are you?"
She looked at me carefully and paused.
"Was it a boy or a girl?", she asked.
"Oh, Lovely. Mwen regret m pa ka konnen sa. Li two bone. Nou pa ka we ki sex pitit w genyen." - "Oh, Lovely. I'm so sorry. I don't know. It was too early for us to know the sex of your child."
She nodded slowly, a tear rolled down her cheek.
Her husband came into the room to check on her. "Can our older child come visit her mother? She's afraid because of the bleeding she saw."
"Yes, of course she can. Please, we want that."
* * * *
It would be rare to find a Haitian man, woman, or child that doesn't know of at least one friend or family member that died as a result of complications from a miscarriage or birth. Additionally, many women have lost babies late in pregnancy and in the early months of their little one's life. It is common enough that the stories of these losses of mothers and babies are shared without a lot of fanfare.
This is the norm on this small patch of land in the Caribbean Sea.
Yesterday Lovely lost her third child early in her second trimester of pregnancy.
Thankfully tonight Lovely herself is physically okay and starting the laborious process of emotional and physical healing under the watchful eye of the evening nurse, Winifred.
* * * *
A whole lot of what happens at the Heartline Maternity Center can be labeled "Maternal Healthcare" - but we think what matters the most is the chance we are given to meet each woman right where she is, whether it be after a loss, during a loss, during an abusive relationship, in a time of great triumph, celebration, and joy, or in a time of fear and uncertainty.
While providing maternal health care is of great importance to us, providing tenderness, love, encouragement, and a kind word - proves to be equally important.
The cost to meet women where they are and serve them during their pregnancies has a monetary value assigned. (The love, respect, and encouragement may very well be priceless.)
We are grateful to those that already help us with the cost of offering these things to pregnant women and new mothers in Port au Prince, Haiti.
We are hoping to grow the number of women we serve in the not too distant future and are looking for several families or groups or churches that might be able to commit to monthly sponsorship of the Maternity Center's budget. A monthly donation of $30, $50, or $100 can help more women like Lovely.
Sometimes the most difficult thing about growing is finding ways to share the message of what is happening with new people. The asks and the pleas for your time and resources are many. We know wisdom is needed when choosing whom to support with your finances.
Many of you that read our blog are well aware of the needs in Haiti. Heck, for you this is old news... But perhaps you can tell your friends, your book club, your rotary group, church, or employer???
(Please ask them to write us with any questions and Go Here.)
As always, we know many of you carry the families of Haiti and our little Maternity Center in your hearts and prayers -- and for that we are infinitely grateful.
Please don't stop.
To follow the women due to deliver, this page is frequently updated.