photo credit: Joanna Howard
We had a baby born at Heartline yesterday. Kathryn. She is beautiful. Her mother, Adeline is precious, strong, smart, and funny. Labor was long. The birth was scary. Our midwives are amazing, and I truly believe, given the issue that arose in birth that if she had not been in the hands of Joanna and Beth, this baby would be dead today. After the birth breastfeeding was not going well. It was going so poorly we decided Adeline could not be alone. She and her baby spent the night with us at our house.
A brand new baby under your roof, a few hours old, has a way of transforming a home. It's almost holy. You can feel it.
Until that baby starts barfing up gunk and doesn't breathe for probably 30 seconds (which feels like 30 years).
Then it doesn't feel holy anymore. As a matter of fact, it will cause you to lose all feeling in your legs as you turn that baby over, beat on their back, and yell for your husband to "Call Jenn...oh my gosh...call Jenn!"
We headed over to the Livesays where our amazing pediatrician friend was already treating a patient (in the Livesay's living room). It felt good to have Jenn look the baby over and hear her say it was not going to die at my house. In a completely selfish, self-preserving way, I need to know those things. On the way out the door this happened.
Now what could make grown women (and one almost grown woman) do this...?
You'll have to go see for yourself.
Yes. I was peeing in my pants. Young women...that's what having a bunch a babies does to you. Can't wait, right?
Today we all worked together to try and figure out what's going on with this new mom and her baby. It's complicated and confusing. I don't want to get into it, but this mom and baby need prayer. If it's not too weirdo for you to pray and ask God to give Adeline milk, will you do that? I know. That's strange. But could you pray that with us? Could you pray that this baby can nurse and breastfeeding is successful? This mom is exhausted and is facing a lot of obstacles. She is strong, determined, and she will need every ounce of those things to get through the next week. It will truly be a miracle if breastfeeding takes off. Breastfeeding is a life or death issue here. I wish I was being dramatic. I'm not. Instead, this fact turns our team into a bunch of whack jobs who pray about nipples and milk and latch ons. Then we ask you to do that too. I'm with you. That's bizarre.
I took Adeline home today. She lives near the maternity center. On the way to her house she told me she wanted me to come in and meet her family. What an honor. I met lots of sisters and cousins. Her husband. Her son. They all stood in the driveway telling me how thankful they are for the women at Heartline. In my toddler level Creole I assured them that we're happy to do this. We love our ladies and babies. God loves them even more than we do. Standing with this family, I got all teary-eyed thinking of what a privilege it is to be "in this" with these ladies and thinking of all the people...all of you who pray and give...who allow us to have these relationships with these women and babies. Life is fragile everywhere, but especially here. As Adeline and her family were thanking me, I was overcome with gratitude for so many of you. As I was pulling away from their home, the thought rushed over me that went something like this..."I would fight someone to the death for these women. I'm convinced of it." That was me being dramatic and most definitely a result of not having any sleep last night.