11.15.2009

Our Program is for Marie Lucie

Marie Lucie is 22, poor, single and without resources. She has been faithful to our program for months now. She arrived Thursday morning in labor. Like most first time moms she was sure she was almost at the end and the contractions surely couldn't get any worse. We knew we were in for a long day and night when we saw that in reality she was not very far along.

Thursdays are always busy with 20 prenatal women, women wanting pregnancy tests and anyone else who shows up at the gate. We leave exhausted on Thursday late afternoons. When Marie Lucie came in in labor at 9:00 AM we knew we were in for an extra busy day.

A 15 year old pregnant girl from Simone Pele showed up wanting to get into the program. Another lady wanting to give her baby for adoption. Another with a four day old who she hadn't breastfed at all since birth. This gal had delivered at home since her labor went quickly so she was not with us for us to instill in her the things she had been learning in our program. Breastfeed right after the baby is born, we teach and teach and teach that. We were all burdened with heaviness at the sight of a failing baby and a mom who didn't seem to understand that baby needed to eat - continuously! We have taught this a hundred different ways! How could this mom have missed the message? Discouragement filled the room. A visitor, Gaylene, sat with mom for hours teaching her to breastfeed and how to care for her baby.

Our attention was now elsewhere. Women needing prenatals. Busy midwives, Staff doing their jobs, filling in paperwork, feeding moms to be, checking vitals, making sure women had their vitamins. Dealing with the heartbreaking issues that face these women daily.

Marie Lucie labored through the day. Women with bellies almost as big as hers poked their heads in to offer encouragement and check out their future! Marie Lucie informed me when her labor was taking hours too long and that all our other women had delivered quickly. She wondered aloud why she was different? False rumor!

Finally the house emptied except for the several of us involved in the birth. What a team this young girl had. We labored with her, walked with her, prayed with her, helped her and finally caught her baby. Her family could be heard praising Jesus from where they waited on the front patio of the house when they heard a healthy baby had been delivered. It was our own little cheering section. As if in direct contrast of the morning's event when her baby was born she declared "I have to breastfeed him right away like Madame John taught us!" We all cheered and the discouragement of the non-compliant mom in the morning lifted. This girl listened in class and put it to action. A baby boy off to a healthy start!

Several hours later Marie Lucie left for home with a 7 pound 4 ounce baby boy. A victorious event for us all. In January many of us will be running for Marie Lucie and many more like her.

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