- 10 babies were enrolled (5 orphans, 1 set of triplets, and 2 babies of moms with no breast milk)
- 2 women were enrolled
- Nurses visited 190 babies and women
- 1 baby (a triplet) died from malaria
Baby Admission Story. Lufeyo was the second child of Mwaiwawo. Mom and baby made it through delivery and returned home just one day later. Initially everything seemed to be going well. Lufeyo was an eager nurser and Mwaiwawo produced plenty of milk. But then, after two weeks, Mwaiwawo began to feel that something was not right. She found it difficult to articulate the exact problem, she thought perhaps it was related to her episiotomy which was still painful. She returned to the hospital where nurses checked her wound and sent her home again. A few days later her discomfort and anxiety increased. Filled with fear she told her family that the right side of her body was heavy and limp, minutes later she lost consciousness and began to convulse. Her family rushed her back to the hospital, but Mwaiwawo died before she received any treatment. Nurses referred her family to Joyful Motherhood to assist with the care of her newborn.
Mother Admission Story. At 35 Lexa was pregnant for the third time. As her belly grew, she anxiously considered her pregnancy and tried to keep the hope locked tight inside her chest. Her peers all had three to five children, some old enough to help with farming and cooking. Her first born was now 12, but his brother who was born two years later died at age three from hydrocephalus. During those three years the entire family suffered along with him. They watched him regress physically, first losing the ability to walk and crawl, then even to sit and smile. At first the clinicians told her that he would be fine, but then when his head began to grow and his gaze became vapid, they told her it was too late. Life continued with a sour edge; she learned to live with loss and fight expectation, but then she became pregnant.
Labor started on August 18th. Lexa initially went to the local public maternity clinic, but the midwives kept sending her out to walk and told her she was not ready to deliver. She fought with herself, wavering between doubt and trust of the clinical staff. The following day she decided to seek help at a mission hospital, hoping there the care would be more expedient. They allowed her to labor until that afternoon when midwives determined that she would not be able to give birth normally. Her perfect baby girl was born via c-section, stillborn. Lexa’s heart broke. She lay in the postpartum ward silently grieving her child, waiting to be allowed to leave, trying not to see all the other newly delivered moms nursing their babies all around her. Everything hurt. She thought all consuming pain was just what woman feel after they are cut open and their dead babies removed, but then she noticed pus oozing from the surgical wound. She was sent to the regional hospital five days after the c-section. There they opened her up again and removed her uterus and her ovaries. Joyful Motherhood nurses met her at the referral hospital as she was recovering from her second surgery. They will not be able to fill the void, but they will visit her at home, support her physical recovery, hear her and be present for her grief, and help with a small project to add a bit more financial security to her home.