I’m So Proud of Her

My mom came to visit.

I was a little panicked when our girl hadn’t arrived and her flight was pending. I was convinced I’d go early (or at least earlier) this time and she booked her ticket for four days after my due date on our hunch. Woops.

Or maybe hallelujah?

While she was planning to arrive after Elianna’s birth, the four days she spent with just Max and I may have just been divine. We didn’t do much – long walks on the beach, eating candy, feeding the ducks… but boy did we get some quality time. And more than that, I was so blessed to watch my mom be a grandma.

buddies ... linking this photo in with the paper mama photo "green" photo challenge

He calls her Nani… all 7 of them do… and even though I’ve seen my mom hold my boy many times before, and play with her other 5 grandkids for the past 5 years… it did something to my heart to see her with my Max now that he’s growing up.

They tickled and giggled and ran like mad men through the park as I waddled behind. She read stories with voices and picked up him and crawled on the ground with him.

she's soooo funny

And as I watched them play and laugh all I could think was, “Man… she is SUCH a cool grandma.”

I don’t know if you’re allowed to be proud of your mom but it must be possible because my heart was bursting at the seams with pride at how amazing she is – this woman who “gave up” her childhood to raise me from 18 years old.

I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather have on the other side of me as I welcomed my own little girl into the world.

And wouldn’t you know we still had four days to spare at the end of her trip to soak in that newborn scent and melt into your chest snuggles.

I wish she didn’t have to go… but my memories of this trip will be some of my most significant. I think that it goes the same for Max too!

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A Mother’s Life

The trail of blood running down the concrete path to the maternity wing of Papua New Guinea’s main referral and teaching hospital tells the story. Eloquent splashes of red, falling centimetres apart at first, becoming a continuous stream by the time she reaches the admission doors.

It’s easy to imagine the urgent response that would await a pregnant, haemorrhaging woman arriving in any Australian hospital. Harder to envisage the reality greeting this unknown woman, just a couple of hours’ flight away, in PNG.

Pushing through the doors of the Port Moresby General Hospital she takes her chances in the overcrowded, understaffed, dilapidated women’s wing. But the 12,000 pregnant women who find their way here each year are among the luckiest in the country.

The floors are crowded with women waiting to have their babies, or cradling the ones they have just delivered, because there are not enough beds. In the delivery room, flimsy curtains afford no privacy or dignity. The toilet is a bucket by the bed. The vinyl mattresses where they labour are worn through, soiled foam bursting through the cracks.

But they at least have access to doctors and midwives—albeit in chronically short supply—and lifesaving drugs, though they can run short too. Many more of their sisters labour unaided at home..

”Those 120,000 are taking their chances in a dirty house, on a dirt floor, with no skilled attendants, no equipment, no capacity to get somewhere if something bad happens. And they die…’

Click here to read the rest of this article. The number of women dying during childbirth in PNG has doubled in the last decade. In some parts of the country, 1 in 7 women will die while giving birth.

Fortunately, there is something we can do.