The baby by the door
When a young mother has a baby with a birth defect, at the hospital, she does not expect the baby to live and does not want to make the long, hard ride to a larger hospital in Port-Au-Prince. She, nor her family have any money. A vising doctor puts in an IV and feeding tube when the mother refuses to nurse her baby. They say, when the baby is stable they will take it to Port-Au- Prince but the mother, in the night, places the baby outside her door and lets her much loved baby go. In time, she will collect her few belongings and return to the countryside with her family without her baby. There will be other times.
There are none amongst us who do not understand. There are no resources to care for her baby’s on-going health care needs; no schooling or visiting nurses or rights of the disabled. The mothers say that the ride will be bumpy and painful for the baby and the surgery will be painful too. In this one, unthinkable but loving act, the mother cares for her baby the very best she can.
We understand the pain and suffering of so many surgeries for a baby, even in the United States. People share stories of the difficult lives children have even when there are resources and support. We grow quiet as we think of this mother; her tiny baby wrapped in a blanket by her door, ready to travel in her heart to a place where angels wait arms open.