Vanessa, came to us hunched over as she walked with a twisted limp. She was born with a deformed pelvis that she has suffered from since birth. She has severe back and leg pain and her first baby was born by cesarean after three days of labor. She lives in the slums with her 2 year old child and is worried because she has been unable to reach her husband, who went to the Dominican Republic in search for work and has not returned or contacted her in months. She fears he has abandoned her. She tells us she has not eaten in two days. I check her pelvis and the outlet is three inches wide. We explain to her that she has to have a cesarean or she and the baby could die. She says she will stay at home and have the baby unassisted, as she can not afford to go to the hospital for a cesarean. We fed her lunch and asked her to wait for Dr. Manol to come to the clinic to assess. We made the necessary contact for her to go to the hospital for a cesarean and reassured her we would pay for it. Then we gave her $20 USA for food, baby clothes, a blanket, and cloth diapers. I saw the weight lift a bit from her and she gave me a hug and smiled, “Merci, Madame.” We worry about her after the cesarean. Who will care for her? How will she eat when the $20 is gone? And yet, had she stayed home to birth alone, had MamaBaby not been there for her, she is very likely to have been counted as one more statistic in Haiti for maternal death.
The next day we went to the hospital and were greeted by Vanessa with a big kiss and smile. We waited in several lines... the lab line, the pharmacy line, the fee for services line. We paid for her cesarean and her baby was born later that day. a $200 procedure that very well would have cost her and her baby their lives had it not been done.
We are so thankful Vanessa came to us in the first place and didn't choose to stay home.
No more mwen regrét sa