Happy Birthday, Mirlaine

November 14, 2013  | Global Partner, Maternal Health, Donate

Mirlaine head shot

You might have read about Paw Gaw's birthday earlier this week. Well today is our global partner Mirlaine's birthday! Mirlaine works for Global Health Action in Haiti with the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs).  Haiti is the Western Hemisphere's most dangerous place to give birth. Mirlaine and Global Health Action are trying to change this, so that we have more healthy moms and more healthy babies. Mirlaine often teaches the TBAs using song, check out this video.

In honor of Mirlaine on her birthday, I want to share this poem written by Global Women board member Janet Anderson about Haiti, Mirlaine, and the TBAs. I can not wait to visit Mirlaine and the TBAs in April! You could come with me, click here for more details!

Happy Birthday Mirlaine!

Petit Goave

Arrogant rivers erode paths, Uproot footing, shift debris From mountains of the Leogane District. Some women take caution, stay home, Call upon the One who knows suffering Amid hemorrhaging, But God of the wilderness Cannot perform c-sections, Nor can angels Who sweep through loss, Offer journey mercies To the splendid other side.

Others confident of their tough-heeled feet, Stumble across rugged terrain, Race over rocks like a stream Falling constantly toward a greater sea, Attempt to cross the rushing threshold, Sink into sediment A drowning trough.

Women who arrive to white walls, White-winged curtains, Perhaps their eighth, ninth, tenth time, Labor with quickened breath, As weary limbs alive with motion Begin to slip.

A swelling surge, A sudden rhythmic shudder Pulses at the knees, In a moment a life pushes through, Another vanishes As though someone has thrown a master switch, Silenced humanity. Her lips clench upon death, Her black, braided head hangs backward, Both eyes awake, searching for God's sky. Her empty womb wiped clean, Her place fixed, Though the earth moves beneath her, Though one day her child Will dream her into existence again, The throbbing day is lost, The first gasp of air staled by the last.

Cut the divine bloodcord That creates and recalls, Consecrate the land's firm crust Which opens and closes over her remains, Today, and again tomorrow life goes on.

Mirlaine, How beautiful you are, To alert the senses toward maternal care, Cooperative work at clinics, Conscious action, To educate and save lives.

Blessings over you, partner As you engage rural Haitians With limited access to health services, Train birth attendants, Distribute supplies as simple as A razor and soap. Prayers for those matrons Who walk hours to train in midwifery, Prayers for women whose lives are spared Through safe deliveries, Prayers for each pad laid down, The anthem of two beating hearts In the name of hope.

Janet Johnson Anderson, 2013, GW Board Member

Want to help support the work of Mirlaine and our other Global Partners? Would you consider giving to our end of the year campaign to help us reach our goal of $125,000? Give a Gift, Change a Women's Story.