Written by: Beth Johnson – Certified Professional Midwife, Heartline Maternity Center
Solange arrived at the Maternity Center on a Tuesday morning in the early stages of labor. After checking her, we told her she could go home for the day and return when things picked up or later that evening if she was nervous about trying to get to us in the middle of the night. Solange returned early the next morning and labored all day Wednesday and through the night.
She gave birth to a healthy 6 lb 10 oz baby girl, Berlyncia, early Thursday morning just before the sun made an appearance.
On Sunday night we drove Solange and Berlyncia home, as we do for all our moms when they are released from postpartum care. The road to her house was…well, not really a road. Our Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulance (so crazy grateful for this machine!) struggled to get up and down the road. It was more like driving through a river ravine up a mountain than driving on a road. We arrived at a somewhat flat area up the mountain, parked the ambulance, and climbed out.
We hiked down the side of the mountain along a goat trail, not wide enough for my feet side by side. As I walked, oh so cautiously, I remembered: Solange carried her growing belly up the goat path and down the uneven ravine *every week* for prenatal care during her pregnancy.
Respectful and thorough prenatal care is hard to come by in Haiti. Most women are desperate for good care and their hope is not to become a statistic that identifies them as part of Haiti’s maternal mortality rate. Many of the women give us a speech of gratitude for the care they received when we take them home. Our response is, “You deserve it. This is the work of God.” We mean it.
We know there is something Holy about being given the opportunity to enter into this space with these women. We know it’s a space where Heaven touches earth…where both midwives and moms walk away having seen Jesus.
Solange is one of 70 women that come through our doors every week to receive loving and thorough prenatal care. We are grateful for your love, prayers, and financial support. We know providing access to care for Solange and women like her would not be possible without you.