I only was walking through. I was not staying. I was bringing something to the midwives. Not staying.
But I can see as I walk by that a mother is in a coma and the sister is holding her baby. The father is crying and holding his wife. I cannot just walk by.
I go in. I do not have a translator but I know enough Creole to gather the story. Eclampsia, after a birth at home. A five-hour ride on a motto to get here. This was her sixth baby.
I suggest they put the baby to breast, even with her in a coma and help them. The dad holds the mom as the baby begins to nurse.
I breathe a sigh of relief.
I say one hundred times that the baby has to nurse “anpil, anpil.” They smile and nod.
They are given money for food and water. I go back every day and slowly the mother comes around. They say she cannot see but talks a little. She says, “Who’s that white woman?” We all laugh because we think maybe she can see me.
She goes home; down the dusty road and up into a small village where her children are waiting.
We can pray that she will recover and not have another baby. No one knows. After I leave Haiti, a friend brings them food every day and money for a moto home.
That’s the end of this story for us but somewhere the story is told or not told. It is harder, perhaps for her to walk or work in the garden or cook.
But what I remember is the father and the way he held his wife. How he used his strong, farmer body to hold and rock and heal his wife. Sometimes, they make lists of the most romantic moments in film history. This becomes mine.
-Sarah Taylor, Volunteer Midwife and Longtime Friend of Midwives For Haiti
Cover photo: Cheryl Hanna-Truscott.