Buli came running into the office yelling, “Please help Michelle. There is a lady, and a baby, but the other thing. The thing. You know, the thing… is not coming. Please come.”
It was during the drive that Buli filled in the pieces. A woman had given birth on the side of the road. Her baby had come quickly but the placenta had not delivered. The mom had been in a neighbor’s car on the way to the hospital when the baby started coming. In the Zulu culture, if you give birth in a car, you have to compensate the owner of the car, usually by buying a goat. Goats are expensive, so I am not sure whose decision it was to deposit the mom on the side of the road, but that is where I found the mother and her baby girl, laying in tall weeds.
The baby was a little less than an hour old and had a shoelace tied around her umbilical cord. As I examined the young mom, I could see she was listless and detached and bleeding quite heavily. Reassuring her that we had come to help, I cared for the young mom through the rest of her labour. Then we loaded her and the newborn baby girl into our pickup truck and took them to a 24-hour clinic in the neighbouring township. After seeing the staff attending to the young mom I left her in their care, praying as I drove home that they would tend well to this new little family.
Thinking of that newborn face leaves me in awe at the wonder of life…life that began in the weeds at the side of the road. My prayer for this little unnamed gift is that she will be able to see beyond the weeds of this world and someday grasp the wonder of a God who loves her beyond measure and has a plan for her life.
Thanks to your support, Michelle Waldron and other staff are able to provide lifesaving medical support to the community of Bhekulwandle.