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Thursday, 19 April 2012

i am lucky


Life is fragile.
We all know that.
And there is nothing more humbling that having the opportunity to bring life into the world.
It's a beautiful gift as well as an awesome responsibility.
It's wonderful and it's terrifying.
You would do absolutely anything in your power to protect the little life which has been entrusted to you to love.


As a new mummy the task in hand often seemed scary,
how on earth would I protect this beautiful baby boy
from all the bad things this world sometimes has to offer,
like germs and horrible people
and bigger themes like anger and loss and fear.

You find your feet somewhere along the way,
you realise that much as you want to
they can't be protected from everything.
They get sick,
they get hurt,
they get scared.
And actually while being a mummy means preventing these things as far as we are able,
it's also about riding out these tougher times with them and helping however we can.

And we sometimes don't appreciate how lucky we are.
That we can help
and that we can prevent.
As much as I see these as being part of the mummy job description,
these things are actually a priviledge.
One that I am terrifically glad I have.

On Saturday I attending the Save The Children 'Creating Connections' conference in London.
We heard some very inspiring people talk about lots of things to do with blogging
as well as speakers telling some stories about the realities of motherhood in Bangladesh.
It was tough going at times,
especially for my pregnant hormones.
Mostly it was humbling.

Only days before I had grumbled about why I would not be using my local maternity as I hadn't felt 'safe' there when I had my son.
How incredibly ungrateful of me.
That unit is less than a year old, fully equipped with brand new equipment, immaculately clean and is five minutes from where I live.
The majority of women in Bangladesh are hours away from medical care.
Medical care which, should they actually be able to get to, would be nowhere near the standard of care I would receive at our local maternity unit.

No, I instead will travel 25 minutes down the road to the bigger hospital.
A 25 minute journey which I have said on more than one occasion will be a nightmare
as my poor husband attempts to drive me while I have contractions in the car.
25 minutes to a hospital where the treatment and care that my baby and I will receive
would be quite literally beyond the comprehension of those women in Bangladesh.
8 out of 10 of those women birth at home,
with no medical assistance whatsoever,
in conditions which make my home look like a palace.
Those women are carried in an upturned chicken coop for six hours,
their babies can die on route.
And I'm worried about a few roundabouts and speed bumps on my journey.

My child will be born.
We will be over the moon.
We will finally know if it's a boy or a girl
and we'll give it the appropriate name that we have picked out in advance.
A simple act.
One which is much talked about when you are pregnant,
that all important name.
But these women don't name their babies for at least eight days.
Because the reality is that a lot of the babies won't live that long.

1 in 19 children don't see their fifth birthday.
11 babies every hour of every day die.
And we're not talking about miscarriages or babies born with serious complications and illnesses,
we're talking about babies who are born alive
and who die of simple conditions which are so totally preventable that it makes me shake to even think about it.
Conditions such as diarrhea
or simply not getting enough of the right nourishment.

I hugged my beautiful, healthy, lucky boy very tight when he woke up on Sunday morning.
Because really, however much I worry,
he'll never really know how lucky he got it.
And neither will I.
Because I am in the fortunate position to live where I live.
And my location means I get access to some of the best maternity care available,
and that my children have access to medical help as and when it's needed,
and that I am educated enough to know how to feed my children healthy balanced diets that help them to grow and thrive.
It really is that simple.

But Save The Children's latest campaign is No Child Born To Die,
something which especially after Saturday I couldn't feel stronger about.
Their Build It For Babies campaign launched on Monday
and aims to build two new cliniques
which will help thousands of woman and babies to safer births and healthier lives.
In this day and age no child should be born to then die of preventable illness.
It's wrong.
But we can help.

To find out how go to the Blog It for Babies site
which is being run by a lovely blogger and friend Annie of Mammasaurus fame.
There you can find out more information 
about how Save The Children are working to improve the care of women and babies,
and how you can help.


4 comments:

  1. we are so very very lucky, really would have liked to have met you on saturday, next time maybe

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  2. We certainly are lucky. I don't think we realise just how much sometimes. x

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    Replies
    1. It really does make you appreciate your little person even more! You are all right in saying just how lucky we really are! xx

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  3. I truly believe that at least one of my kids and possibly me too, would have died in childbirth if we'd been in Bangladesh rather than Basingstoke. I always like a good excuse to relive my birth stories, but this time it's for a great cause, so I added my post to the bloghop. I'm enjoying reading the other posts so far.

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I absolutely love reading all your comments, so thanks for taking the time to leave them.

xx