Sunday, March 17, 2019

Filling the Ocean


Fòse moun fè sa yo pa vle fè se tankou esye plen lanmè ak wòch

Forcing people to do what they do not want to do is like trying to fill the ocean with rocks.
Meaning : You can not force people to act against their will. 

On Saturday we readmitted a baby girl that had been discharged earlier in the week. She was born March 8, 2019.

Saturday the baby arrived to the Maternity Center 102.6 degrees, dressed in heavy layers of warm clothing. When weighed, we found she was down from her discharge weight of Tuesday. She appeared to be dehydrated. All other vitals were normal. 

Dr. Jen  (the Pediatrician that advises us on all sick babies) was available and we talked about getting IV antibiotics started and keeping them in house for seven to ten days. 

We got the baby out of all her clothes and asked that she nurse so we could see how she was doing with breastfeeding. She seemed desperately hungry as we watched her eat. 

In the time I was preparing the medicine and talking to Jen the baby ate voraciously. When she was done we supplemented her with additional milk. The change in her was immediate and I began to wonder if perhaps she was not sick, but simply hungry.  We talked with Gracie's mom about how the nursing was going and when the fever had started.  By the time I took Gracie back from her Mom, she was back to a normal 98 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another hour later, all vitals remained totally normal. We asked Gracie's mom if we could please re-admit them for several days to help get the breastfeeding back on track. We've seen that sometimes young mothers get home and don't end up nursing enough due to other people in the house not realizing that every two hours is very necessary for a small new baby. She agreed and we wrote up our plan for pumping and feedings and gaining weight. Midwives Nadia and Frèdelyne were on board and the plan was set. 

After everything was calm and stable I posted an Instagram picture on my personal account with an update on baby Gracie and a thank-you to all the donors that donate and make the Maternity Center run.  

About three hours later the young Dad of Gracie and his mother (Gracie's Paternal Grandmother) came to visit at the MC.  They were upset that Gracie was down to her diaper and asked why we did not have the baby dressed. The two midwives on duty explained everything about too much clothing causing fevers and shared our concerns about the weight Gracie had lost and the need for some additional feedings to be added in for the next several days.

Long story short, the Grandmother and Father of baby Gracie talked Gracie's Mom into leaving AMA (against medical advice) with Gracie.  They believe that Gracie has a curse on her and that it is something that can be handled without us. 

We explained that we strongly believe that more than anything, she was not eating enough and was dressed in too many layers. They would not hear those concerns and packed up their things and left the Maternity Center. 

The director/fundraiser in me knows that this is not a success story.  
Yes, I'm that BRIGHT.  

As much as we do to work on education in our classes, there are times when the power of superstition or culture or family dynamics cannot be overcome.  Many, even most perhaps, women that come for prenatal care end up believing in what is shared and taught - but not all. 

I suppose it is a weird time to ask you to consider becoming a monthly donor of Heartline Ministries. Rather than do that, I want to share our values with you. While it is not specifically noted, I would add that we also value being truthful and open with our donors.


At The Maternity Center we value:
  • Compassion: we treat all of our clients with respect, love, and kindness.
  • Joy and celebration: we make room for joy, laughter, and singing as a form of spiritual care.
  • Excellence of care: we deliver the best possible care and maintain the highest standards of midwifery.
  • Honesty and integrity: we are truthful and open with our clients and with one another.
  • Affordability and access: we are committed to serving women who would not otherwise have access to high quality midwifery care.
  • Empowerment through education: we educate women because we believe that their empowerment will change the world.
  • Personal relationship: we work to connect with each woman by name and by story in order to best serve their diverse needs.

We are discouraged by what happened with baby Gracie yesterday, we hope and pray that she will be okay and that she will grow up to be loved and honored. We fight to remain hopeful because we know hopelessness is the enemy of justice.

"...With hope because hopelessness is the enemy of justice.
With courage because peace requires bravery.
With persistence because justice is a constant struggle..."
(Source: The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama)