I left Haiti in 2015 not knowing where God would lead me. After going through 4 years of Midwifery training God opened the doors for me to come back to Haiti. I was thrilled and amazed at how God opened the doors. The last couple months at home had been very stressful for as I was preparing to sit for the NARM Exam to pass the test for Certified Professional Midwife. I passed the Test October 31st and then enjoyed a couple relaxing weeks with my family before I left for Haiti.
Life here in Haiti has been as normal as normal gets around here! COVID-19 caused quite the stir here. Unfortunately they blame it on the "whites" for bringing it into Haiti. There are so many false stories and ideas going on around here about the COVID-19. Like if you find a hair in your bible you boil that hair in water to make a tea and drink that to keep from getting the Corona Virus!!! So, people were going through their bibles and looking for hair and making tea out of it!! We of course told them that is NOT TRUE and will do NOTHING.
I'm not even sure how many actual positive cases we have here. But thankfully, as far as we know there are no COVID-19 cases in our area. We have been taking precautions though and doing a lot of education to help people understand how it spreads and what to do about it. We have a hand washing station at the clinic gate entrance so everyone can wash their hands. There are a couple other changes we made to keep the virus from spreading, if it does come here.
Thankfully people have been calming down and we don't hear as much of this craziness. Clinic days have also been getting busier as things had slowed down over the first news of the COVID-19. The government closed all the schools and the churches are supposed to be closed too although many are still having church.
Emergency runs have been far and few between... which is something we won't complain about! We did have an "almost" emergency run a couple days ago... a pregnant lady came into clinic, I checked baby's heart tones and was very concerned as they were not normal. I quickly did a cervical exam to check dilation and was confused at the position of baby. I was pretty sure it was breech but something still didn't feel right. I palpated her abdomen and still couldn't figure out the position of baby. I called in another nurse and we decided to send her out to town. By the time we got a transfer paper written and mom settled on the machine she was pushing. Here comes a baby's butt. We could see right away that something was very wrong with baby, it was severely deformed. Baby lived for about an hour after it was born.
Death... so final. It seems like we've been experiencing it quite a bit the last while. Or is it just because it's so draining and heart breaking?????? A mom in labor working extremely hard to bring her dear baby into this world, pushes for one last time as a lifeless little form slides into the world with a very tight cord wrapped around its neck 3 times. We did CPR but baby did not come around. Tears slid down my face as I held the mothers hand and tried to explain why baby died. My heart hurt for her as she cried out "I did all this work for nothing".
Then there's Sè (sister) Ramon. The mayor of Ti-guave, the mother of many. Died from heart problems. EVERYONE knew her... an extremely influential woman with a big heart of love for everyone she met. Its crazy how the death of one person can affect so many lives. The night she died we could hear wailing and screaming all over the hills, I was wondering how I would sleep. Clinic staff came to clinic the next morning sad and heart broken. I didn't know this lady but being with people that knew her, people that were heartbroken and crying every single day, is wearing. Her funeral will be on Saturday.
A mom of 4 boys comes to clinic extremely sick. She just had that "look"... a look that tells you she is probably HIV positive. Probably one of the worst things I have to do here is tell a person that they are HIV positive. There's so much hopelessness in those words... so much fear, so much uncertainty, so much pain... I tried to break the news to her gently but she did not take it gently. My heart broke for her as she cried out over and over "its not possible, I do not have it". I checked her 5 month old baby and found the dear little one also positive. We encourage and firmly urged the mother to go to town for treatment but she refused because she was sure she was sick with something else. She died a week later...
On a better note there have been beautiful, healthy babies born, bad burns that are healing, wounds that were horribly infected that are healing, sick people getting better, smiling faces greeting you as you walk into clinic happy to see you, a premie baby gaining weight, smiling mamas as they listen to baby's heart beating loudly and baby giving a big mighty kick, laughter coming from the birth room as a god mother vividly and dramatically tells a first time mom how to push, friends that come and wrap you in their arms and tell you they love you, and so much more!
I love Haiti. Being here is both extremely draining and extremely rewarding!!! And yet its life... its amazing how your body and mind adjust to your surroundings and what's thrown into your lap. I was asked today if we've had any crazy cases come into clinic and at first I said no, then we started talking and I realized that there was more than I realized! Because its just normal life... Everyday God provides the strength and grace we need to face the challenges of each day.
I have been doing quite a bit of visiting the last couple days. One of my friends that knows English pretty well, decided to start a small English school and asked me to help her. She has been doing an amazing job and her students are extremely excited about learning English which is helping them learn in leaps and bounds! So I try to hike up the mountain to her house as often as I can to help her out. The pics below are from some of the visiting we've been doing.
Please continue to pray for us! Prayer works and we can often feel it.