Maybe it's the Barbancourt, maybe it's the company. Maybe it's Haiti. Or perhaps all of the above...
We had a large dinner tonight with the group of volunteers who are here- to include the people with Haiti Kidz, Midwives for Haiti, and the three Brothers who run Maison Fortune Orphanage. Glen and I chatted with Brother Bill for a good 20 minutes and on several occasions I nearly teared up because of the profoundness of his words. It's nothing I could ever repeat and do justice- so many things- so much emotion and insight into the world and Haiti and why things are the way they are, how things came to be, and how we as human beings have a responsibility and obligation to help in the ways that we are able to help. It struck my mind, my heart, and my core.
As we ate we sat between Brother Bill and Brother Harry. Brother Bill told the story of a nun who had served 50 years in Kenya. At the celebration of her 50 year anniversary the nun made a speech. In it she said, “After 1 year in Kenya, I could have written a book. After 25 years in Kenya, I could have written a paragraph. After 50 years in Kenya, I could write a sentence.”
In other words, as time went on she realized that she understood less. There was so much more to it than she could originally see and understand.
As we said our goodbyes, Brother Harry, without even attempting to be deep or profound, made a simple statement... “The longer you stay, the more complex the questions become.”
Glen and I were taking a nap this afternoon and were awakened by a knock at the door. It was Carrie saying that the midwives at the hospital had requested help because they had a 32 weeker about to deliver. I already knew it was too late. I know the MO here. It meant she was pushing and it meant the baby would be born way before we got there. But of course we still went.
We rushed to get there and right as we were leaving, we got word that the baby had just been born. The motorcycle ride was a bit scary for me- Gladias, one of our translators, took us on his motorcycle. He went as fast as he safely could- which is a lot faster than what we are used to. I had to close my eyes so I couldn't see the bumps and rocks and crevices we approached and flew over.
We zoomed by people and cyclists and other motorcycles, all the while Gladias was laying on the horn. It seems to be Creole for “Watch out! I'm coming and I'm not stopping.”
We arrive at the hospital and it was as if we were in a movie- we jump off the motorcycle and literally start running.
We find baby and jump in. The baby was not breathing and had no heart rate. But to hell if we weren't going out without a fight. We've become efficient with resuscitation and immediately Glen resumes his role- he bags and I start compressions. I listen to baby and nothing. No heartbeat at all. What the hell, let's keep going. What do we have to lose? We keep on keeping on. But it's apparent that this baby is long gone. It makes me mad. It makes me sad. But I knew from the time that we left the house that this baby didn't have a chance. I had held out Hope though.
She's too early. We're too late.
I ask what the baby is and Glen looks. She's a baby girl. I tuck her into her towel and I ask if I can take a picture of her. I want to remember this. All of this.
We take our gloves off with heavy hearts, throw them in the trash, and walk away...