for those of us who don't have a PhD

Is it just me, or do the days of the week never feel like the actual day of the week? Today sure doesn't feel like a Tuesday! But then again I'm not entirely sure how one is supposed to pick a Tuesday out from the crowd. The days of the week? They blur.

Mondays however, well Mondays are easy. Mondays are equal parts dread and excitement. Weekends are glorious. We get to exercise. Sleep. Be productive. Work on things like the website, blog, emails, and proposals. Jenn networks, sometimes. And we socialize, sometimes. And rest and run and read. Did I say sleep? And we catch up on errands and I clean. Cleaning is therapy. I've even been known to keep my phone on silent the entire weekend.

So while the weekends have their perks, we are prepared for Monday and we look forward to seeing everyone at the land. We love what we do.

On Mondays, we arrange for all the moms to come back to Second Mile. The past several weeks we have had an average of 4 moms sleeping at our facility on any given night. We pay transportation via taxi moto for some. Sometimes, the child's dad will bring his wife and kids. Most of the time, we send our trusty employees to do the pick-up or, we arrange a rendevous place and time for the remaining mothers to come in the truck.

We also try our best to plan for any potential cases to be evaluated for admission on Mondays. Of course, it doesn't always work out that way but often it does. Jenn is like Super-Planner Extraordinaire so Monday's aren't stressful. But they are busy. By the time Tuesday rolls around it feels like Thursday. 

I have two new women to introduce to you. 

This is Widerlie. 

We introduced you all to Mickey, her 9 month old son, last week. This week marks their third week at our facility. When Mickey arrived two weeks ago he weighed 8.8 lbs. He weighs exactly 10 lbs now. He is progressing gradually. We are doing our best to really spend a lot of time with this mom. She learns best via repetition and practice. Last week our health educator, Miss Kerline, taught Widerlie how to give Mickey a bath. I set goals for her; showing her how much mamba must be given by 8 am...12 pm... and 4 pm... and how much milk to finish before morning. She cannot read or recognize numbers so it is difficult to have her follow a schedule or use a thermometer. But I will never forget what she said to me sometime around day #2. She said, "I'm listening. I will do everything you say so that my baby can become better." And that's what I like to hear! She may not hold a PhD but she is a mother and she loves her son. The highlight of my day was when I gave her a pop-quiz and she aced it! "Winderlie?" I asked.  "Do you remember how much Paracetamol (tylenol) to give Sandley if he is hot (fever) tonight?" I handed her the medicine cup and she pointed to the correct line. My spirits rose.


I go through a similar run down with each mom before I leave the facility each evening. "Do you remember what to do, if...." is usually how the conversation starts. Because we don't have health care staff during the night the moms are taught, quickly, the signs of emergency. We monitor the kids closely during the day and if something isn't right we ask, rather than tell, the moms if they think their baby needs to go to the hospital. This keeps the agency with the moms. We want them to be empowered to make these sorts of decisions both when they are home, and while they with us. 

So far, this plan has worked well. 

This family went home on Thursday! dun dun dun...

These twins and their baby sister (and mother) spent 4 weeks at Second Mile. They left in tip-top health
Rosenie and 3 (of her 7) children spent a total of four weeks with us. They left us last Thursday with the beginnings of a business. Mom will sell soap and oil in order to make ends meet. Director Dadou and Miss Kerline will visit them tomorrow to see how they are fairing at home. 

We also have a new mom. She arrived today.

First day at Second Mile
Her name is Suzette. She is 31 years old and has 3 children. We met her husband today as well. She lives about an hour and a half from our property. Through her connections with a partner organization she was given a free moto ride to our facility. She will stay with us as long as is necessary. Her baby Lovelie is 14 months old. She weighs less than 9 lbs; a weight most infants attain at least by the time they are two months old. Lovelie does not smile. She does not want to eat. But she does breastfeed. That is her saving grace.

lovelie, 14 months old, 8.5 lb.
We began rehydrating her and we will slowly feed her until her appetite returns. When this occurs she can begin eating mamba (see our gift catalog for more info). We will keep the blog posted with updates and in the meantime we ask that you keep these two in your prayers and/or support to help families like these.

I am also acutely aware that we need to post a Marie Ange  update. Marie Ange was our first case! We believe that God shed some serious grace and provision on us the day our paths crossed. Marie Ange stayed with us for two months and then later required a second admission. During her second admission she gained weight rapidly and stayed stable. Marie Ange and her mom left us in late October. Since then she has had 3 follow up visits; one at 4 days post-discharge, then again at 10 days and again at 17 days post discharge.

She is well. Praise the Lord.

Here are a few before and after pictures. I'm sure that one day soon we will post more of her story.

Before and After on the "Marie Ange Chair" painted blue by her momma
Before and After (toutouni) - from 9.6 lbs to 17.6 lbs! 

Marie-Ange's mom has been with her through it all. The hand.. enough said.
And I leave you with this. 

The "land"

Every evening Verdieu and Joslin bring the cows and goats in from their pasture. Lately it's been getting dark by 5:15 pm. That is, out. of. control. and way too early if you ask me. Regardless, I snapped this photo as the sun began it's descent today. Peace and beauty?

We are surrounded. :)

Don't forget to visit our holiday gift catalog if you are interested in packing an end-of-the-year charitable donation to Second Mile Haiti.