Monday, February 5, 2018

Haiti 2018 - Day 3

Yesterday was Sunday, so a very relaxed day.  We saw some a couple of the Mama Baby midwives leaving for church, beautiful in their Sunday clothes.  We stayed back at the clinic.

Breakfast:  Boiled plantain, yam (like a white potato), and sardine sauce.  It was delicious!

There was one client laboring throughout the day Sunday; her baby arrived in the evening.  Another mom came in around bedtime, wanting to be checked for dilation.  It is very common for moms who are close to their due dates, regardless of country or culture, to be anxious about whether they are in labor.  And sometimes it IS hard to tell!  Long days, especially when it is hot, and maybe mom has been too busy to drink, can intensify "false labor".  This mom ended up staying the night, and once she was satisfied that it was probably not the real thing by morning, she went home.

Today, Monday, was "primary" prenatal day.  The clients were already arriving, as the sun came up, for the first visit of their pregnancy.  JoTann, who is the mama of a little girl that was born at Mama Baby a few years ago, was setting up in the courtyard to make and sell egg sandwiches.  She said that she works hard because she wants to provide for her daughter.  She also helps cook and clean at Mama Baby on the weekend. She, like Rony the artist, definitely has the entrepreneurial spirit. 

As we were eating breakfast upstairs, we could hear the group singing "How Great Thou Art" in Kreyol to kick off the day.  Two of the midwives, Erlyne and Sophonie, taught a little class to the group of about 35 moms before their intakes and assessments were done.  The moms also received a little booklet containing John and Romans from the Bible.  I helped with blood pressures, height, and weight.  I am not accustomed to the metric system, or writing my dates in day/month/year format.  I kept thinking it was May 2, 2018.  05/02/18.

As soon as prenatals were done, and I thought I would take a little rest, a mom came in on the verge of pushing her baby out.  This was her first baby.  I mostly observed, and helped where I could.  Two of  the Haitian midwives took responsibility as the primary attendants.  My niche so far has been moral support.  Which is just fine.  If I could affirm these moms, and all moms everywhere, it would be to say this, and not necessarily with words:  what you are doing is hard work, what you are doing matters, and you are loved.  Mothers need to be mothered.

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