Friday, January 27, 2012

post-partum reflections.

i wrote about visiting the public hospital's maternity ward awhile back - i haven't just let it lie like so often happens around these parts (these parts = my heart). i am so scared sometimes of being vulnerable, that i just steer clear. i am involved in a number of activities - most just peripherally, one (another post when i can.... oooo, vague) way more intimately. but seeing the conditions, talking with the teenage moms-to-be, holding the babies... it touched me in a way i just haven't been touched in a long time.

i've always had a soft spot for mom's - especially teen-age ones - but it wasn't until i had my own that i knew that this is where my heart was. i had been given tools before we even thought of having children that would make our lives as a family easier (not easy!), and even though i didn't have this impoverished birth experience, i also didn't have a luxurious one. i knew what i wanted and what is good for babies. i was able to choose a doctor, to express opinions and concerns.

that doesn't always happen in the public hospital, and it happens much less frequently for under-educated teenagers.

i've been back to the hospital a few times. i don't really have any sell-able skills to offer, but i'm really good at encouraging women to breastfeed (that's another post for another day!) and just talk to them about their concerns. i like talking to the nurses to find out what is going on and where we might be able to find more help for these women.

my creole is crap, but a quick prayer usually brings a smile to mom's face.

i took my dad to the hospital in december to hand out some diapers and sanitary pads to the recien paridas - i also cleaned out our closets and took ten sheet sets and some baby blankets. it was heartbreaking, really, to see babies lying on sheet-less hospital beds - no incubators, no separate space for mom to relax and sleep before heading home to countless, sleepless nights. no on-call nurse system for a quick injection of pain medicine.

i don't know what this looks like for the future - but i know that it is where i need to be. where i need to be present as some encouragement for the patients and nurses. i hope to get more involved, but i just don't know how that looks. i continue to work with the midwives for the dominican republic, and hope to become more involved as they establish themselves more in the country.

if you know of any place to get post-partum info that i could study, or anything that might be of benefit to new moms, please let me know!


Emilio Fernandez said...

Good morning how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this I would ask you one small favour:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Dominican Republic? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Dominican Republic in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and a original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
28903 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog, where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely

Mariposa said...

Hi, wow its a great thing you are doing visiting those girls and giving them encouraging words, and being a voice for them.
What kind of info are you looking for? Can you be more specific: Like what kind of postpartum info do you want? How to take care of your baby,how to take care of yourself..etc? Do you want info for you and the ladies giving birth? In OBGYN there info about any little thing. I ask because maybe i can help you, i actually work in a hospital. I dont know, let me know what your looking for maybe i can ask the midwifes or drs where i work.. email me if you want:

Mariposa said...

p.s. maybe i can ask for pamphlets reg breast feeding or something, like i said let me know i would be extremely glad to help:-)

AliciaCC said... is a link with a book list for post partum doulas. I will be coming down with MW4DR in June I can maybe bring you some books if they are to hard to get there. If you find good deals on them on Amazon or ebay but the shipping is to much I could bring a coupl down with me. I don't have a ton of space so if you do order paper back lol. :) Think about what else you are looking for and let me know. :)

melanie. said...

mariposa- i wrote a really long response to you here but it apparently didn't make it. i will email you soon with a (really)long comment ;)

alicia -i look forward to meeting you in june! i'll let you know if i think of anything more "solid" to help me! (or a mail order!)

Jennifer Larancuent said...

what you are doing is great, and I hope to be able to help in some way once we've moved. Maybe t would be possible to make some kind of sticky on DR1 where you could list things that are needed that people can bring with them to MW4DR?