Last week was an incredible week. I was very lucky to be asked by my friend to be her birth partner and five days ago a very special little lady came into this world.
We were at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London and we were very lucky to have the most incredible team around us – doulas, midwives, nurses, doctors and surgeons. My friend and her unborn baby were in very safe hands.
Just before this special lady made her debut into this world I looked into the whites of my friend’s eyes and I had never seen such fear. I had been warned about this (and watched One Born Every Minute so I thought I was prepared!) but nothing begins to describe adequately the terror she felt. You are at the point where there’s no turning back and you don’t have an ounce of energy left in your body but you’ve got to dig deep and somehow muster the energy to push. You harness everyone else’s strength around you to do what you need to do.
Once the baby is born all pain disappears (well, that’s if you’ve been given lots of drugs!) and you look at awe and wonder at this little miracle you created.
Baby Daniella was abandoned by her mother in a long drop toilet
In Uganda, tiny newborn babies are abandoned and referred to our rescue centre. I dread to think what their mother experienced during their pregnancy. No medical support and probably no one to even hold their hand.
Then, after the trauma of childbirth she cuts the umbilical cord herself and puts her baby into a plastic bag or wraps her baby in a blanket, turns her back and walks away. Some mothers leave their children in places where there will be found, some mothers throw their newborn babies down pit latrines. It’s not uncommon that the baby is the result of rape or incest and the child is the evidence this act has occurred. She feels she has no choice, panics and makes a decision that will haunt her for the rest of her life.
Last week, a little boy was admitted into our care. We called him Freddie and guessed his age to be about 15 months old. He looked healthy and loved yet he was abandoned in a church. Someone had clearly cherished little Freddie but something must’ve happened to drive his mother to abandoning him. She even left him with a bag of his clothes.
Little Freddie was abandoned by his mother in a church
At first, Freddie was scared of everyone but over the past week he slowly gained confidence, played with the rest of the children and held his own. Our social worker Lenah is trying her hardest to trace Freddie’s Mum. She has put posters around the church and surrounding community asking anyone to come forward with any information. I really do hope someone comes forward because no one should have to abandon their precious baby. We believe families should always be supported to keep their children instead of feeling they have no choice but to abandon them.
That’s why we’re here.
Making families, not orphans