Triplets aren't very common in Botswana. So a woman in a village carrying triplets is quite an event.
I, Laurel, met 'M' when she was about half way along in her pregnancy. She lives with her mother, her eight year old daughter, sisters and other family. She was receiving good prenatal care at the local hospital but was struggling as no one in the family was earning money.
During the next few months I visited regularly and made sure that 'M' was getting good nutrition and getting to her prenatal check ups.
At the end of October I received a phone call from 'M's neighbour to say that she had given birth to her triplets and had been transferred
to the main hospital in Gaborone. The birth was two months premature,and shortly after birth one little girl passed away.
'M' and the other two babies were being cared for at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone and I started visiting regularly.
There were many challenges for both mum and babies. The babes spent a total of 9 weeks in the special care nursery, 'M' stayed in a room at the back of the postnatal ward, sharing with a number of other women who also had babes in t
he nursery. They had a 2 hourly routine of going to the nursery for feeding and changing 24 hours per day. Each woman carried a small bag with her containing all the babies needs, including disposable nappies which they had to provide – quite difficult for someone with no income. The friendships that they formed were a great support for one another......their needs,practical, emotional and spiritual are great.
After 9 weeks, I took 'M' and her babes home to their village. Two days later baby B, the other little girl passed away – she had been born with
severe hydrocephalus and her brain had not developed properly. B was buried next to her sister at the family home, as is the practise in the
culture here – babies who die at less than one year of age are kept close.
Mogomotsi, the brother of the girls is growing well and is nearly six months old. His family tells me that he must miss his sisters and that they will tell him about them one day.
This is a picture of 'M' with her daughter who passed away two days after being discharged.
Below is 'M' with her son, Mogomotsi.
During the time Laurel spent at Princess Marina with 'M' she realized there were huge needs among the women there. Among the many practical needs are nappies, hence the name "project nappies". Most of the women have no income and really struggle to provide the disposable nappies they are required to buy for their babies. These women provide around the clock care for their babies so would not be able to have a job while their baby is in the special care nursery. Many of the women do not even own a pair of underwear. So their basic needs are great! Besides their practical needs these women need the Lord most of all! Our goal is to start a program to minister to these women. We are in the process of making the right contacts at Princess Marina Hospital and hope to very soon be able to start ministering to the women there. Please be praying for us as we start this new venture!
- Please pray that Laurel and I and whomever joins us in our venture will have wisdom in knowing how best to minister. That we will be a light and encouragement to these women.
- Please pray for the women that their hearts will be open.
Thank you so much for praying for us! We are very excited to see what the Lord does in all of this!!
If any of you would like to be involved in helping with the practical needs here are some ideas...
For 100 pula about the equivalent of $15 US we could provide the women with one of the following:
- 60 disposable nappies
- 2 dozen cloth nappies
- Combination pack of onesies, socks, hats and a blanket
- Toiletries and underwear for the mother
- Hand sanitizer
- Baby clothes, any sizes
- Wash cloths
- Underwear, any sizes
- Sanitary Pads
- Blankets (they especially love receiving blankets)
- Crocheted baby hats, mittens, socks, blankets and outfits (they love crocheted items!)
- Home-made cloth bags for use as a diaper bag