Convicted.

Long story short, I spent Tuesday night at the hospital. After a clumsy fall on the ice outside E’s preschool Tuesday morning, many concerned people and a doctor who just wanted to be sure, I went on a trip that I was sure would be an hour or less turned to four while we waited for bloodwork and then 24 hours when some contractions made their way to the monitor.

All is fine. Besides a scraped up hand I’ve no injuries and baby has a strong and healthy heartbeat and will remain in utero for a long while still. {I’m 28 weeks.}

I admit I found the whole thing a stitch annoying. And embarrassing.

I also know the old saying better safe than sorry and knowing that all is fine is worth any annoyance, even the 24 hour “boring” kind.

I joked with friends that visited Tuesday night that it was a vacation. I mean here I sat in a ginormous private room with everything I could want literally at my finger tips. Want to watch tv? A surplus of channels available. Need the shade on the window down? The remote can do that. Hungry? Thirsty? There’s a menu and a button for that too.

Dinner time came and I could order whatever I wanted from an expansive menu. A meal is a soup or salad, a main course, two sides, a dessert and a beverage, the menu read. That’s more than I’d likely prepare for myself at home.

Nurses frequently asked me if I was in pain or uncomfortable {I wasn’t} and even brought me Tylenol at one point just in case. Before I went to bed for the night a nurse offered me a sleeping aid. {I said no.}

While I can’t so much complain about either of the birth experiences I had with H and E, I will say that neither hospital compared to the labor and delivery “suite” I spent the night in Tuesday. This was no postage stamp sized hospital room, this was the Embassy Suites of hospital rooms.

Monitors beeped and the woosh of baby’s heart beat sounded all night long.

Shampoo and body wash in the bathroom, baby necessities awaiting near the warmer, anything I needed and more, all right there.

Giving birth, as natural and as beautiful as it is, is personal and exposes everything. I understand why hospitals want moms and babies to feel comfortable and I appreciate that comfort.

But.

I was also really convicted.

I mean, why am I so privileged to be able to give birth in a 700 square foot suite with all life’s luxuries at my finger tips and some women aren’t?

It feels so unfair and makes me feel icky inside at the unjustice of it all. While I spend 24 hours in the hospital just for “precaution” a woman in a public hospital in the Dominican Republic is sharing a hospital bed with another pregnant woman since there are none left.

A bed, my friends.

Not just a room.

She’s already sharing the room with 15 other women. Women who are laboring alone, many of them teens. No gowns, no sheets on the bed, unless they brought them from home. No warm onesie or gown to put on their fresh babe after birth unless they brought one.

DominicanRepublic
{Photo from Midwives for the Dominican Republic}

I am embarrassed by the luxury in which I get to live over and over again.

My college friend Melanie now lives and works in the Dominican Republic. After having her own two children in the DR she became passionate about providing women with education and information. Doctors argued for c-sections and told mothers not to breastfeed and she wants every woman to go into their birthing experience equipped with information and options. She provides prenatal education for women, mostly teens and works closely with the nonprofit organization, Midwives for the Dominican Republic, who boasts their mission to be promoting the health and well being of women and families in the DR. While I have long appreciated and followed her efforts and work on her blog and the Midwives for the Dominican Republic Facebook page, it really hit me this week.

“there are no free diapers, no blanket to wrap the baby in. no sheets on mama’s bed or a pillow to use. no chairs for visitors. no sanitary pads or protection for the bed. no pain medication. for the haitian women, there is not even a nurse or doctor who speaks their language.” {excerpt from Melanie’s blog}

Fellow mamas, can you even imagine?

Maybe it was all the downtime and sitting and thinking about just how fortunate I am and how unfair it feels but I’m inspired to do something.

Will you please join me in supporting Midwives for the Dominican Republic?

Here’s how:

1. Financially give if you are able. They are a registered nonprofit through the state of North Carolina and are currently working on their 501(c)3 status. You can give financially via paypal at parterasrd@hotmail.com

2. Donate supplies if you are able. While some supplies cost too much to ship {diapers, sanitary supplies etc} there are other things that make sense to ship. Onesies, baby hats {cotton, not knit}, baby blankets {think receiving blankets}, sheets. I am going to be putting together a shipment and if you have items you would be willing to donate please contact me as I’ll be passing on to Melanie’s family in Philly who are sending a barrel to the DR soon. {samarapostuma (at) gmail (dot) com is the best way to reach me.}

3. Like Midwives for the Dominican Republic on Facebook and share their mission.

I know that there are a lot of needs in our broken world even here in America and I know that it’s hard to know how to help or what to give or how to choose between causes, I really do and I get it. It’s overwhelming to even think about. And I understand that your passions may lie elsewhere but this week my heart was struck by all the luxuries it seems I am given simply because I was born in America.

Thanks for reading and considering helping this cause in some way, shape or form, even if that is simply liking their page and keeping their work in your heart and prayers.

Comments

  1. I’m glad that everything is okay with you and baby. Kind of crazy about the birthing suites that are being created in the hopsitals now. It’s hard to think that we are so blessed with what we have here, but then in places like the DR they have conditions like that. I will be saying prayers for that cause and their work.

  2. Thank you so much for this! Prayers and ëmotional support are so important, it’s tiring work (really, i’m exhausted!) but it’s so fulfilling when a teenage mom knows her rights when the doctor wants to cut her for no reason, and also when she knows how to plan for future pregnancies as well. Babies are such a blessing and it’s so great to feel the support from all over.

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