** This post was written several weeks ago, before I left Haiti**
She is 21 years old.
She is 27 weeks pregnant.
She is HIV+
This morning I took “F'” to a local hospital for an ultrasound. It was her first.
This morning we found out that her baby is right on track developmentally.
This morning we found out that she is carrying a little girl.
One of the programs we have moved forward with for Espwa Berlancia is a pregnancy sponsorship program. When a pregnant woman tests positive for HIV she is enrolled in this program. Through a sponsorship gift of $50.00 per month she is given private medical care, in the best hospital available. She is provided with nourishing food that is good for her growing baby and she is given vitamin supplements.
“F” is the first woman to enter this program. Before I even had a chance to bring her need before you it was met. She has been sponsored for the remainder of her pregnancy.
We are working to secure ARV meds to get her started on right away. The sooner that she starts the better the chances that she will not pass the virus on to her baby girl.
Even on the days where I feel overwhelmed, confused and filled with grief, I can not help but find hope in the work that is being done. Not because of, but in spite of me…
This morning I sat in a room and held the hand of a 21 year old girl who had no one else. I am the only person who knows her status. I talked with her as we walked home together and she shared her dreams. How excited she was to hear that she was going to have a daughter. How she prays that her baby will not get HIV. She told me the names she thinks are pretty and how she can’t wait to buy her dresses and socks with lace.
This morning I was honored to be allowed to share a sacred, precious moment. We watched as the grainy lump of a heart with 4 perfect chambers pumped rhythmically. We shared in fear, awe and hope over this precious little life. We wiped away tears at the same time when her profile appeared, neither of us needed the doctor to explain what we were seeing. The tiny rounded chin and button nose were perfect.
When “F” left my house she proudly carried the photo of that little profile, off to share her joy and excitement with her family and friends. Leaving her fear and aching to share with me.