This Mother’s Day thoughts are turned to gifts, cards, how much we love our mothers, and how much our children love us as mothers (well, depending on what mood they are in!). But there is another story going on this Mother’s Day. The story of how other women across the world living in poverty become mothers. So many of them have absolutely no medical care in their passage into motherhood. Imagine if you or I had no antenatal checks, or medical support after the birth? Would mother and baby both survived? Because that’s the way so many woman living in poverty across the world become mums still…if they are lucky.
By stark contrast, around one in four births in the UK is by C-section and around fifteen percent of all c-sections in the UK are emergency operations (i.e not planned in advance.)
But here’s the gamechanger – thanks to Compassion UK, many women living in poverty across the world are now being given access to medical care as part of their journey into motherhood for the very first time.
So, this Mother’s Day, as a tribute to every mum who might not have been, I’m sharing three inspirational stories about mothers and babies who’ve benefited from their life-saving Child Survival programmes thanks to Compassion UK.
Becoming a mum in Ethiopia: The story of Aster and Mihret
When Aster discovered she was pregnant, her life was bleak. She and her husband had been forced to give up their first two children because they were homeless, and their third child, a boy, had died soon after birth. When she found out she was pregnant again, she was depressed and without hope. She worried this baby might die, too.
Doctors had told her that injections to deal with rhesus problems caused by the couple’s blood types would save the baby. But the treatment regime they recommended was far too expensive.
Fortunately, it was around this time that Aster registered with her local Compassion Survival Programme and at 28 weeks pregnant, she finally received the treatment she needed. She was also given regular check-ups and counselling to help deal with her grief.
Her baby girl, Mihret, is now 2 years’ old and is happy and thriving. Aster has started up a business making and selling flatbread and maize, and the family’s life has been transformed.
Aster now hopes to bring her two other children back home soon so that the whole family can be reunited.
Becoming a mum in Haiti: The story of Murielle and Wood Kelly
Murielle had a very difficult childhood, but when she married her childhood sweetheart at 28, she had high hopes her luck was about to change.
The couple were overjoyed when she fell pregnant, but sadly, she suffered a miscarriage after several months. Murielle said she felt “ruined by that loss, ashamed and broken.” A year later, she fell pregnant again, but miscarried a second time. The couple had little money and were unable to get medical advice about their problems.
Murielle was devastated, particularly because some of her neighbors viewed infertility as a sign that God was punishing her. She became afraid to leave the house.
It was during this time that she heard about a local Compassion project, and she rushed there to register. Murielle was taken to hospital by its staff, and it was there that tests revealed that fibromas in her womb, combined with malnutrition, were causing the pregnancy losses.
Murielle began a program of treatment, and within four months, the fibromas had gone. The Compassion project also provided her with healthy food so that she could become stronger.
A few months later, Murielle was overjoyed to find she was pregnant for a third time, and this time, her baby survived.
She named him Wood Kelly, and he’s now three – and she went on to have another boy 20 months later, a boy called Wood Dally.
She says that her children have given her “peace and abundant joy.”
Becoming a mum in Honduras: The story of Marilu and Carlitos
Marilu lives with her partner on the embankment of a river in Honduras. The family have no access to drinking water or drainage, and very little money for their health needs.
Marilu registered for a Compassion Survival Programme when she was pregnant with her third child, a little boy she decided to call Carlitos.
All seemed to go well during her pregnancy, but she was shocked to discover soon after he was born that he had a serious, life-threatening condition. Carlitos had been born with a birth defect called an Imperforate Anus, and doctors said he needed an operation to survive.
“I was shocked and found myself helpless when the doctors gave me the sad news. I couldn’t afford a surgery and felt like my son wasn’t going to make it” she says.
Those are powerful stories in their own right, but these numbers also shout loud the importance of this work:
As of December 31st, 2017, there have been:
- 16,067 babies currently receiving help through a Compassion Child Survival intervention worldwide
- 15,945 mothers currently receiving help through a Child Survival intervention
- 1,229 Child Survival projects around the world
- 2,128 births at Compassion Projects in the 3 months to the end of December – 91.7% of which – 1,952 – were of a normal birth weight.
This Mother’s Day, let’s give thanks to incredible organisations like Compassion who have stepped forward to offer assistance with child birth and pre- and post-natal checks up with a qualified midwife and immunizations giving them a more positive birth and early life experience – the best Mother’s Day present an expectant mother could ever wish for and one she will be forever thankful for with each year that passes.
Did you know that so many woman worldwide were still struggling throughout pregnancy and birth in this way? Have you ever heard about Compassion or the work they do? Do leave a comment and share.