Mica lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she is a dedicated mom and caring midwife. Not long ago, her life was changed by Heartline Ministries.
Several years ago, Mica was only two weeks into a dating relationship when the man sexually assaulted her. Shortly afterward, she was devastated to learn she was pregnant. She was faced with not only the trauma, but also the weight of many decisions she now had to make with a child on the way. Things started to turn around when a friend introduced Mica to the Heartline Maternity Center. She remembers that turning point in her life:
“I was hopeless and felt like I couldn’t go on living. I would spend my days in bed, crying and afraid. When I was accepted into Heartline’s prenatal program, it required me to show up at prenatal class every Thursday. After a few weeks of showing up at class, I started to feel a little more hopeful. I questioned whether or not I would be able to love the baby I was carrying. Without their love, support, and encouragement, I don’t know if I could’ve become the mother I am.”
The Heartline Maternity Center model is based on quality care, love, respect, and trusting relationships. Staff are committed to personally knowing women and their stories, which frequently include extreme material poverty, sexual abuse, and disease. The center provides quality medical care, health education, nutrition, and compassionate support to combat the high incidence of maternal and infant mortality in Haiti.
Moreover, these services help to prevent children becoming orphans, which is another significant problem that faces communities in Haiti. Through the program, expectant mothers in Haiti gain access to a full prenatal program, labor and delivery services with certified midwives and nurses, and a six month postpartum program of weekly medical care, child development education, and breastfeeding support.
Heartline Ministries also provides medical clinics to the wider community including pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and free birth control to promote healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy to reduce maternal mortality and improve child survival.
Mica found the Heartline Maternity Center’s Child Development course especially helpful. She attended each week for 6 months. She was taught how to bond with her baby, the importance of breastfeeding, and how to give her son a good start to life. Mica had several complications with her birth, including an emergency C-section and, during her recovery, she suffered from mastitis and the Chikungunya virus. She fought hard for healing and for her son. Mica recalls her experience:
“Postpartum was very difficult for me. The postpartum care and encouragement I received from the Maternity Center staff gave me the courage to keep going.”
Mica’s difficulties gave her a deep understanding and compassion for how difficult the transition to becoming a mother can be. Shortly after completing the development class, she was invited to join the Heartline team and to contribute her talented singing voice to lead the singing portion of the breastfeeding classes. After a number of weeks, Mica started to take on more responsibilities and was able to utilize skills gained from her previously earned nursing assistant degree. Because of her hard work and dedication, her colleagues encouraged her to apply for training as a Certified Birth Attendant. Thanks to a generous sponsor, the cost of her training was covered.
Now a part of the team at the Heartline Maternity Center, Mica brings a peaceful confidence to the birth room. She is gentle, patient, and encouraging to women in the midst of labor. When we asked Mica how her personal experience with childbirth and postpartum recovery helps her as a midwife, she replied,
“Anytime I’m with a mom in labor, I remember what it was like to be in that position. I remember the things my midwives said to me that encouraged me and helped me through the process. I try to remember how much it helped me to be reassured and encouraged by my own midwives and do the same for the mothers I care for.”
Mica’s story is a testament to the caring and compassionate work of Heartline Ministries. At Somebody’s Mama, our goal is to empower women and communities around the world. We are thrilled to be partnering with Heartline to give more women a chance at a successful start to motherhood.
We wanted Mica’s perspective on how Somebody’s Mama donors would make a difference in the lives of the women at the maternity center. In Mica’s words:
“Haiti is in need of health education and quality maternal healthcare. I believe Heartline Maternity Center provides excellent care and it makes a difference in women’s lives. Without the help and the gifts of donors, it would be difficult to continue this work.”
Heartline Ministries is creating tangible change in the lives of women in Haiti every day. Our current fundraising goal will provide 30 women the resources they need for a safe and healthy start to motherhood. Join us in making a difference for lasting change.
$20 provides iron supplements for 9 months of pregnancy and 6 months postpartum
$40 provides a weekly high protein meal for one woman throughout the entire program
$75 provides birth supplies for one woman
$100 provides Depo Provera for 100 women for 3 months
$210 covers the cost of fuel, diesel, and propane for ambulance services and the clinic's generator for one month
$433 covers all costs associated with an expectant mother going through the 13 month prenatal to postpartum program