We hear a lot of secrets. Some of them lie heavily on us.
This week a couple came to talk to Sheba. They were very sad. Both are HIV positive and their little girl is likely to be as well. We had asked them to get her tested at the government testing centre. They went - but no one was there.
So they came with the 3 year old and talked. A beautiful girl - only she is well behind in her developmental mile-stones.
Are you using contraceptives? Sheba asked. Yes - we use condoms. Do you want more children? Sheba started to ask about whether the wife would like a tubectomy. Then she asked the question: Were there any pregnancies after this girl?
There was one. They went and aborted.
The trauma of the daughter's birth was terrible. The nurses would not touch the mother. She was placed on a filthy - utterly caked - mattress in the govt. hospital. She pleaded with them for a sheet - none given. Her husband was told to get multiple sets of disposable gowns and instruments. Thousands of rupees worth. One set at the most was used. She was literally an outcaste - crying for help in the delivery with minimal assistance. After birth, the child was taken away from her. It was just too much - she left with the daughter against medical advice.
Till today the hospital has not given them a birth certificate. Despite repeated attempts.
And so - in between - another child came - and they terminated it.
The pain that has so furrowed out these lives. What can we say. Sheba talked and prayed with the couple. Church-goers. Believers.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Angel-child - we will see you in glory.
The same hospital. Last month.
One of our positive friends was at her due date. The pains started and she was taken to the govt. hospital by her husband. We had worked with them to make sure that she had attended her ante-natal check-ups. Now it was time.
The same horrid story. Put in a rubbish part of the hospital. Alone. No nurses touching her. Minimal medical inputs. Sent home with the statement that it was not time yet.
Next to her another HIV positive mother was screaming for help. She gave birth on the bed. The baby fell and died.
Angel-baby no 2.
When our friend went home she felt that the child had stopped moving. Soon after she was back in the hospital with further pain. The child was born without life. She saw him in a small box before they took him away.
Another angel-child populates heaven.
Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy