Our founder, Jean Elade Eloi, was traveling in Haiti last week. 5 babies were born in a 7 day time-span in Zorangé. Here is an exciting update from him about one of the births.
I just wanted to share with you a “quick” story.
So I got to Zorangé on Sunday morning (May 17) with the Campbell University students. It’s about 10:30 am or so. Although the church is having its service but I noticed a few bodies at the clinic.
These young, determined medical/public health, pharmacy students, are ready for a 2-week stint in Zorangé. Soon after I gave them the “tour” of the living quarters (it’s so big it requires a tour) then I walked/ran to the clinic to see why we have people there on Sunday morning.
I’m always making noise in Haiti–I’ve been told that I’m loud. Anyway I saw Pierre Lise and Edmond at the clinic–I loudly asked what are you guys doing here? I thought we’re closed on Sunday–knowing full well that there was a pregnant woman in there. We laughed and joked and I got the story.
The expected mom is 39 years old. This is her first baby. She’s been there since 4am after some hours in labor at her home. Usually they stay at home for a while before they march to the clinic (for may logical reasons).
The team (Pierre Lise and Edmond–Pierre Lise leading because this is her wheelhouse now) told me that she’s ready to have the baby anytime now. She’s already fully dilated–they used a medical term of course.
I shared this news with the students now at lunch time (around 1pm) and they’re all excited to know that they can actually witness this event. They asked me if the mom doesn’t mind them watching–of course I spoke for the mom and saying sure no problem. I told them there were 16 of us watching Genante giving birth to Chanika–nooooo. NO worries at all. Really.
Anyway–it’s 3pm and there are labor pains coming from the clinic which you could hear while at the dorm.
This Sunday happens to be also the football league finals and our school (Unifee) is in the final. We all want to see the baby come out before the game because we will for sure miss it during the game. Yes I know–it’s football and we’re in Haiti.
Well the game began at 4:30 and Dr. Edmond is one of the referees. Still no baby yet. One of the family members came to me and said–Dr Edmond is refereeing the game what if the baby comes? I told him not to worry. If Pierre Lise needs Dr Edmond she will come on the field and take him to the clinic.
Game’s over and still no baby. Yes Unifiee was crowned champions! I hope each one of you experiences a football game in Zorangé someday.
It’s about an hour after the game and I was summoned into a meeting. The team decided that the mom has to be transported to Jacmel. They’ve done what they could do. Mom can’t push anymore and they’re worried that too much has gone on so now it’s transport time. Of course this decision has its own complications. First one is transportation. And we can’t afford to provide ambulance services but it happens to be that we have collaborators on site that got there early in the day therefore vehicle is there.
Part of the Leadership team that was available at that time met (Dr. Edmond, Natacha and Wilner) and the decision was for our driver (Marcel) to drive her to Jacmel using our landcruiser (you’re probably thinking that this is a no-brainer but it’s more complicated than that…another story for another time).
It seems like ‘Wizard Driver’ Marcel was just waiting for this moment. Before he got the word go he was already backing up the landcruiser to the clinic.
>Vierge sprang into action–she put food together for Marcel and Pierre Lise and a family member to take with them to Jacmel because this is going to be an adventure. It’s dark. And a dark sky with a threatening storm. The rivers are already a “little” high. And this is going to be at least a 3-hr trip and it could be 5 hours easily.
So decision is made. Anytime now they’ll be on their way to Jacmel.
It’s about 15 minutes later and I had a meeting on the porch with Marcel (a teacher) planning for the week. He could not hide his frustrations at all the noise coming from the clinic–thinking that the people have to be quiet not to disturb the expected mom. I said well maybe they’re trying to encourage her or something to push this baby out. Totally clueless I was of what was going on.
Anyway we continued our meeting then the land cruiser is still there.
Well while Pierre Lise is getting expected mom ready for the trip–checking whatever she needs to check before departing and she told me that the mom made a loud scream–Pierre Lise looked below–she saw the head. Of course you know the rest of the story! The noise that we heard was all excitement about the baby!
I think that the sheer stress of this trip to Jacmel, in the dark, during rainy season, and the possibility of getting to Jacmel and may be asked to be taken to Leogane or Port au Prince–that stress took over and adrenaline kicked in–then bam! the baby is out.
Of course we celebrated. We teased Marcel (the driver) because apparently he said he was going to Jacmel today ( he said that around 11am). Well when I heard about this decision around 7pm I was thinking that I wish we sent her earlier but again–what do I know?
I’m so sorry it has taken so long to tell you this short story but I wanted to share my excitement about these things in Zorangé with you all.
That night I had never experienced that amount of heavy rain in my entire life except during a hurricane. The next morning, Dr. Fubara (a Campbell University professor) was joking about the fact that he saw Noah taking animals 2 by 2 to the ark. He and I had to get back to Port au Prince for our next day flight. Now that I think about–what a blessing it was for that trip to Jacmel not to take place with the mom.
We (Dr. Fubara and I) did make it to Bainet the following day crossing the rivers–at times a couple of us had to push the beast across as it got stuck on some big rocks! Several times.
Thank you for reading!