Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ajiko Sarah

This is a new post about Sara, who is a person I've been paying for trade school training for years because she has a pretty serious physical handicap. (Previous posts about Sarah here and here.) I've actually started this post repeatedly and really don't even know exactly what to write. Sarah has gotten pregnant. I'm trying not to be judgmental or angry..... Yet I find myself listing off in my head all of the reasons this was terrible. 
1.) This could very possibly kill her. If there was a category for higher than a high risk pregnancy she would be in it. She breaks bones regularly so the likelihood that this pregnancy will break her pelvis or back is high. I'm not sure how her bones will tolerate the 30 pounds she will need to gain. 
2.) The baby could possibly have the same terrible disease she does. That is, if the baby even survives until birth. 
3.) She lives 10km from the clinic where she has to go to get prenatal care. She certainly can't get herself there. 
3.) Her family can't feed all the mouths it currently has. Two different NGO's give food, medical supplies or pay school fees for her family. How are they going to care for one more?!
4.) There is no father. Well, there is a father. This wasn't an immaculate conception or anything.  But Sarah had relations with no intention of getting married. He is a 16 year old boy (4 years younger than her) who has not yet completed school.   
5.) The training program she is in is run by catholic nuns so because she isn't married she has been kicked out of the program. They don't keep this rule a secret. Everyone knows it. She won't be allowed to complete and get her certificate. 
But she wanted to get pregnant. So she did. Now she expects me to help her. 
She is 5 months along. So far no complications. I check on her every two weeks and once a month I go out and pick her up and take her to the antenatal clinic. This month I also got her appointments with a neonatalogist and the doctor who will preform the c-section. We had a meeting and decided on the absolute earliest date they could possibly take the baby. 
I really struggled this week with frustration with her as we rode back and forth from appointments and spent hours sitting in waiting rooms. As I was dropping her back off at home I realized that even though we saw three different doctors over the course of the day no one had done FHTs or measured fundal height. (This actually isn't all that surprising and could be the topic of a whole different post.) Because I keep my own chart on her to keep things straight in my head, in the dark little hut she sleeps in we did one last exam for the day. When I said, "that is the baby's heartbeat, strong", she lit up. And I realized that I've been so frustrated and discouraged that I had never really thought of her as a young mother, really excited about having her first baby. I'm trying to be less judgmental and filled with more grace.....

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