“M” delivered a beautiful baby girl via Cesarean on Friday afternoon. Both mom and baby are doing great and her medical bills have been fully covered thanks to donations from you friends!
This morning I received a call from one of our most fragile mothers, Samantha. Samantha was due around the second week of January and is finally in early labor. I encouraged her to walk around a bit and to call me when her contractions started to get closer. I hope to welcome Samantha’s baby sometime in the next 24 hours.
While waiting to hear from Samantha a woman from my program came to my door with her one month old baby. She has been one of the most dedicated and willing to learn moms that I have ever worked with. Today she came to me in tears asking me to take her baby because, as of last night, she is sleeping on the streets. She told me that if she had to, she would give her baby up for adoption to keep him from suffering on the streets with her but that she thought that if she had to give up her baby she wouldn’t know how to live. She said if I would take the baby for a while then she would maybe have a chance to find a job.
The thing is, not only is this one month old baby breastfeeding, we have had to re-induce lactation in his mama because she followed the (poor, but very common) advice of an older woman to stop breastfeeding and instead give the baby a paste of crackers and water. She was amazing when I explained to her the dangers and she worked SO hard to get her milk back and begin nursing the baby again. Today she has a full supply of precious breast milk and any time away from her baby is going to compromise that.
The more I work with mamas and babies the more I learn about how precious and sacred the bond between them is and the more I am inspired to fight to keep them together. There is a mother in front of me, who’s greatest nightmare is loosing her baby but who feels like she has no other option to keep him from the suffering that she has known.
I have learned to accept a lot of injustice in the past 6 years, I have learned that there are some battles that I just cannot win but I am not going to accept this. I am not going to let this mama and this baby be separated. I still don’t know what the solution is but I know that for them, there is no option but to figure out some way, ANY way, for this mother to raise her child.
Today while I try to find a long term solution, they will find rest in the house that the Lord had given me to share. Her baby will snuggle close to her and I pray that she will hope will grown in her heart and that she will know that she isn’t alone and that someone else cares about her family.
Tonight I will be in a room where I will watch a miracle as a new life joins us and the air will be heavy with hope and anticipation. Every birth I have attended has been filled with the same emotion, every single mother has a plan and a dream for their baby. Sometimes life is kind and sometimes it isn’t.
It is glaringly obvious that I cannot fix this world, I cannot change the fact that Haiti is hard, and unfair. Today I just have to keep doing what I pray to do every day, love and believe that every single one of these lives is precious and that I am here for a reason. Today I get to love two women and their babies and I get to introduce you to them, so that you can “see” them too.
These families matter…