During her nine months of pregnancy, my mom and dad prepared for my arrival. They set up my nursery, painted furniture, stocked up on baby clothes and other supplies. Although I was placed in an incubator for three days following my birth, my mom’s joyful anticipation was fulfilled.
I cannot imagine her pain if, instead of her labor resulting in a newborn baby girl, it resulted in my death. I cannot imagine if, instead of lovingly changing my diapers, she had to constantly change a cloth pressed between her legs to stop the flow of urine. I cannot imagine an anguish so great that she would want to kill herself if my dad had left her and not even her friends wanted to be with her because the awful smell. I simply can’t imagine.
If you are a regular follower of Dignity:Liberia on Facebook, you’ve probably listened to some of the interviews I conducted with fistula survivors. Some of the survivors suffered the devastating death of their babies during childbirth. All of them had the “pee pee and poo poo disease.” Thanks to the Liberia Fistula Project, they are healed or much improved.
I encourage you to listen to a few of the interviews again. It took bravery for these ladies to share their stories. What once caused them shame has made them stronger. They are fistula survivors!
Click on the survivor’s name to hear her story.