|I kept looking down at Jenny who was born only 4 days ago, incredulous that she could be so small. The nurse later told me that she weighed 2 1/2 pounds at birth but I would have sworn she was closer to a pound and a half. My hand when placed on the pillow beside her was twice as big as her head. Her feet and legs were no wider than my thumb. Marie, her mom was happy and Jenny actually looked stable. In any regular hospital she would have been in an incubator. Here at the Little Sisters of St. Therese clinic in Baraderes, run by Sister Denise Desil, 2 1/2 hours from Les Cayes, down one of the bumpiest roads I have ever been on, she was wrapped in a couple of blankets with a knit cap on her head.
We had a great visit here today. Amy Steets, in our Program Division, and Sharon Dressen our friend from Rainbow Light were busy talking with the women who had come to the clinic for prenatal checkups, to have their babies, to get their children checked and to get the prenatal vitamins and vitamin A we were distributing. Matt Dayka, our photographer was capturing images all day of the children - so you can see the kids we are working with. It was a full day.
Hearing the stories is one of the greatest things about this work – how would I otherwise ever get to meet Jeanne Toussaint, a twenty-six year old first time mom who is now living with her mother and siblings in Baraderes. She graduated high school, passed her tests (impressive in these rural communities) and went off to Port-au-Prince where she met a guy, ended up living with him, got pregnant, and came back home to have her baby (the dad just isn’t interested in having any responsibility). I asked her what she enjoyed doing. She said she loves to read, mostly novels. We talked about a story called ‘Is it not an illusion?’ which she described as a story about a young girl who falls in love and then wonders if she is really seeing the other person for who they really are. I asked Jeanne if this story could be a reflection of her own life. A big smile came across her face and she looked up at me and said ‘I guess so.’ We both laughed and looked over at her beautiful baby, Jennifer. How would I ever get to meet Jeanne or to get this small window into her life? What a gift.
Amy Steets talks about her own experience on our blog. Read it here >>