A few months ago our team connected with a woman who was about about 6 months pregnant, and hadn’t been to the clinic for any kind of prenatal care at all yet. There is an excellent free clinic here, but not all know where it is, or can afford the transportation to get there.
We arranged a time to pick up this woman and take her to the clinic to get a check up, get her taking prenatal vitamins, and everything else needed to catch up on the care of a pregnancy that’s already 6 months along. Aaron, our director, had a rare free day so he jumped at the opportunity to do the driving. By the next morning when he arrived there were 5 pregnant women ready to get in the truck.
On the way to the clinic one woman kept talking about how she didn’t want this baby. Her husband was no good, “He brings in no money and drinks all the time. We already have 2 children. I don’t think I’ll keep this baby. I don’t know how I can manage.”
Later on in the conversation Aaron mentioned that he is the father of 6 children. Her immediate response was, “Do you want another one?”
We hear this question often. Overwhelmed mothers, women who are pregnant for the first, third, fifth time, and don’t know how they are going to cope with caring for a child and making ends meet. They come from a culture that values children, and large families are considered a blessing, but for many migrant women, a pregnancy is a crisis.
(This is what happens when families live in extreme poverty, and women have no resources or education. Imagine how you would feel, living in a tiny bamboo hut on stilts, above a mosquito infested swamp/sewer, in a crowded village strewn with refuse, where you live at the mercy of the landlord, who is also your boss, barely able to feed the children you already have, to find out you were expecting another.)
The group spent all day at the clinic waiting for everyone to be seen by the doctor, have their blood tests and initial prenatal care visits.
We began teaching a women’s health class, including healthy pregnancy, in this village.
This woman delivered her baby 2 weeks ago. She held him proudly and said she plans to keep him.
Things are still hard, but she is hopeful.
The only way to change things for these desperate mothers is to give them resources, to give their husbands resources, to support them, encourage them, and, most importantly, give them hope.
We know that what we do works. It is vital to the health and survival of families and children. For every family in that we are able to assist, there are thousands of others in similar circumstances that we don’t currently have the resources to reach.
Every day families reach their breaking point and their children slip through the cracks.
Your help is vital if we are to continue the work of healing families, strengthening families, and keeping families together.
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