Please pray for a mourning mom that I (Chrisi) talked to today at the ASELSI Milk Program.
She gave birth a month ago to a 4 pound 11 ounce baby boy. He was born 1 month early. She stayed at the hospital for a couple days and then was sent home. He nursed well for about the first 10 days and then suddenly would not nurse, so the mom brought him to the local health clinic. They said that he needed to go to the hospital because he was very yellow. She went to the hospital where they gave her baby some medicine and an injection.
She said that after the medicine he began to nurse well again and they were sent home after a couple of days. Two days later she woke up at 3 a.m. to her baby who had died in bed right next to her.
She cried as she told me her story and doesn’t know what more she could have done to save her little boy. She has no idea what was wrong with her baby, why he was born a month early, why he died after the hospital had sent her home just 2 days prior, etc. Usually when I talk to mothers who have lost their children, they know very little about what happened, what medicines, surgeries, etc. were performed to help their children. They have very few answers because often medical staff didn’t explain much if anything to them because the public health/hospital staff feels like the uneducated mothers wouldn’t understand anyway.
These women, if they do cry at all, often shed few tears as if this is just part of life. Some babies live and some are lost. They carry these babies inside of them for months, feel them move, breastfeed them around the clock for many days, weeks, and months and then have to say goodbye to this new love of their life.
These Guatemalan women are so strong. They work so hard, endure so much, and say so little. Many only make 13 cents an hour making handicrafts to be later sold to tourists on top of taking care of their children, house, etc. They love their children, like any mom does, and want the best for them. Despite their best efforts, these moms often see their babies become weak, feeble, and sometimes die because they don’t have the simple few dollars it takes to buy some powdered milk.
The Guatemalan women who I talk to each week at the ASELSI milk program live very hard lives, but I rarely hear them complain. They have the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight-1 Peter 3:4.
Situations like this remind me of why I love helping moms like this one get the milk they need for their babies to live and grow as I serve each week with the ministry here in Chichicastenango.