As I catch up on rest and let my mind process, I can’t help but think how very grateful and thankful I am to have had this experience and to have such amazing friends and family.
I reflect, our group continues to connect also reflecting on the time there, I think of all the mamas that were alone and so thankful for a glass of water and an encouraging smile from one of us, and as I reflect I say thanks.
Were our gestures and caring smiles impactful? They must have been because their smiles and tears impacted me and my heart! They were so touched that these women from Canada would be so gracious of their time and donations. And that holds a piece of my heart over there forever.
Their faces come to mind: the first time mama looking so scared, the mama who continues to push when she is so exhausted, the mana who relaxes her shoulders when she is reminded to breathe, the mama whose eyes fill with tears when we offer her a gift for her baby, the mama who is shivers from the cold from laying in a sterile cool OR, a mama who allows a doula to pray with her and her mom after the loss of her baby, a young teen mom who thanks you for helping her to latch her baby.
The conditions at first shock and surprise me with limited space, crowded beds, a wood bench, shared bathrooms, old beds, and almost everyone with an IV for oxytocin. But through the differences we also see beauty; a doctors turning the lights off and laying in a bed to rest across from a sleeping mama, a baby cuddled next to its mama as it nurses, an encouraging smile from another labouring mom in the same room, staff and patients willing to help us translate, windows open to fresh air and staff so grateful for extra hands as they rush to deliver 23 babies in an 8hour shift. There is old and outdated conditions, there is connection and positive interactions as they do great with what they have. All of it is true, the good and the bad. Together it fills my heart as I reflect, for the one exists with the other and that is truly beautiful.
My heart is still there today for in the hours between when we left on Wednesday and that very evening protests over the proposed healthcare changes escalated and the military was called in. News states injured and suddenly that piece of my heart that is forever in Honduras aches. It aches for the beautiful souls of new moms we met and for the welcoming staff and the kind people who helped us in our time there. Their beautiful country is struggling right now and we send prayers.
I fully know and believe that we were being watched out for on our trip. That we were simply vessels of love that was shinning through us and I believe the timing of when we left was divine.
I am thankful to be able to look back now, reflect and process. That we were safe and healthy (for the most part), are back home in a country very different then there. But I am also so thankful for the experiences and the people I met. It was worth every moment of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion!!
I send my prayers to them especially at this time. May they feel that others around the world are thinking of them in this time.
First three photos credit to ￼￼￼￼Deanna Daniels of Spero:Pregnancy, Birth & Doula.