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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Life moves so quickly around here, from one disaster or disease to the next, that I sometimes don't have time to worry about each big event. A good thing, right? Right.... From cholera, to Hurricane Tomas, to cholera again, and finally to the elections this last Sunday (with cholera an ever-present threat threatening to devour our city, our children, our neighbors, our family, and our friends). Oh, let me throw in a sprinkle of a pregnant lady needing to deliver a baby but having nowhere to go, a friend needing to be hospitalized for severe diarrhea and vomiting (but not cholera, amen!), a school field trip being canceled due to threats of "shock" or "a tremor", and a teenage boy falling out of a truck then wood falling on top of him. How would I survive this tumultuous life without the One who gives me strength, allows me to throw my questions at Him, and makes sense in a sense-less world?

Let me write again what my friend Heather said: "Living in the states is like living in a sit-com. Things typically get resolved in about a half-hour. Life in Haiti is like living in a Shakespearean Tragedy." I'll give you some background story to explain this comment.

About two weeks ago Heather, a lactation specialist who moved here in August and works with Heartline, a program for pregnant and new moms, among other things, began helping a mother of twins who lives in our area. Heather lives about a 10 or 15 minute drive from us. Susette contacted Heather as this mother was having trouble producing enough milk to feed two babies and her babies are very small (3 lbs, 15 oz and 5 lbs, respectively). I examined the babies and found them extremely small for one month old and failing to thrive, but with no other overt problems.The plan was for her to eat at one of the orphanages daily and feed her babies some formula during this time. Its generally not a good idea here to give a mom formula to feed her baby(ies) as it usually results in the mom doing it exclusively her and her milk will dry up. This mom was already having difficulty producing enough milk for two babies so the goal was to feed her and hydrate her enough to increase her milk supply, as well as to help her babies gain weight by supplementing with formula. However, she hadn't shown up since we'd talked about it with her. While trying to figure out why she hadn't shown up and discussing alternate options to help her babies, Heather made the above comment. I'm not posting it here to minimize the problems we experience in the states or in other countries. I think it is a great analogy to explain the difficulties and seemingly insurmountable challenges people here face.

Here's what happening with the mother of the twins, Francois, now: last week Heather took her to Heartline where she was able to see other healthy, fat babies, other mothers learning how to take care of their babies, and learn herself how to care for and raise these children. Each week she'll go with Heather to continue her education. She is picked up by one of our staff members each day to eat her breakfast and lunch at the Manasseros (we found out she wasn't coming to eat at the orphanage because she lives too far away to walk with two babies), where we can check on her babies' progress and she uses a nursing supplementer, which gives her babies milk without having to use a bottle. To just give her formula to take home to feed the babies had many problems in itself: 1. Formula has many nutrients it lacks compared to breast milk 2. Will she always have clean water to prepare the formula, to wash the bottles, or to drink herself? If she doesn't, she'll surely give herself diarrhea (or cholera) or her babies and they could die 3. Formula is expensive. Please keep this family in your prayers. Francois lost her firstborn son last year. Pray for her to draw nearer to the Lord and for her sons to grow strong and healthy and to love the Lord as well.


becca35757 said...

I am praying for this mother and her babies. Thank you to everyone who is helping her through such a difficult situation. God bless