Birth. Ten months later, I’m still thinking about it.
Troy was born two weeks early, the calm after a wicked thunderstorm that raged alongside my labour. The sky was orange, the power out on half our road. My midwife was on vacation. Her backup, whom I’d met only 2 days prior, arrived shortly before I started to push. Our son was in such a hurry to join us that most details of our birth plan were abandoned. Despite that, my wish for a safe and easy home birth was granted.
That day, I learned how miraculous life is. Not just my son’s, but also my own. For a first time mother, I was lucky. Only five hours of active labour, and recovery was a breeze. My own mother laboured with me for 22 hours in a Thai refugee camp. She nearly died.
Women all over the developing world have similar experiences, or worse. Some don’t live to tell their stories. Where access to basic health care is limited, injuries and infections can be fatal. In Papua New Guinea, the maternal death rate is 1 in 7.
That’s 1 in 7 women who don’t get to hold their children, watch their first steps, or hear their first words. 1 in 7 who say hello and goodbye in the same breath, who are robbed of the privileges of life and motherhood.
There are wonderful individuals hoping to change this. Adriel is a mama who started the Bloggers for Birth Kits initiative. She’s collecting clean birth kits, which are simple in their content, but amazing in what they do. Take a look:
All of these items can be found in a pharmacy or home improvement store, and help to prevent infection. Adriel is asking for help in one of three ways:
1. Make a birth kit. Assemble one yourself or gather a group of girlfriends, a moms group, work associates, or a church group to make a box full of them! Mail your kits to: Adriel Booker, Bloggers for Birth Kits, PO Box 6221, Townsville, Queensland, 4810, Australia
2. Donate for a birth kit to be made on your behalf. ($10 will buy 5 kits!) All donations for B4BK go toward the assembly and distribution of kits, as well as maternal care education. Make your online donation here. Please be sure to write “Bloggers for Birth Kits” in the box that says “additional comments” so the funds will be allocated properly!
3. Help raise awareness by posting about the cause on your blog, facebook, pinterest, and twitter. (Please use the hash tag #B4BirthKits!)
My first Mother’s Day is coming up, and my wishes are simple. In lieu of a gift, I’ve asked that our family contribute to this cause. We’ll be spending some of our day assembling kits. I’m looking forward to this, and love that our celebration will be not just about me, but also other mothers around the world.
Dear friends, if you can help in some way, please do. Simply passing this information along would mean the world to myself, Adriel, and countless other mamas.The world is in need of some big changes, but it only takes small actions to accomplish them.
For more information, please visit Adriel’s blog, or click on the Bloggers for Birth Kits button on the side.