The first journal entry/blog post after a major transition is always the hardest to write--- at least for me. This week makes 8 weeks that we have been back in Haiti and I feel like I **MIGHT** just now be catching my breath.

 

You see, we’ve been making our house a home (starting from scratch is rough) and trying to make said house functional with our lack of reliable electricity. We’ve been hauling stoves, refrigerators, mattresses in Ruby the RAV4 through the hustle and bustle of Port-au-Prince and into the steep driveway that leads to our mountain home. We pack in multiple 5 gallon jugs of potable drinking water each week because the water that comes out of our faucets would make us ill if we were to drink it.  I’ve been teaching Phoebe to help me unlock the 5 locks/doors/padlocks/large iron gate that keep us safe—She’s such a great helper!

Ruby the RAV4 full of mattresses, a refrigerator, and other supplies for our home. 

 

We’ve been reconnecting with friends/ family (expats & locals) who have made this transition more tolerable for Phoebe and I both.

PhoebeKate, Malachi, Naomi, & Aimee 

 

5 days after we arrived in country I had to get back on an airplane and fly to Miami to take my national midwifery boards --- I passed!!!!! Officially Jessica Williamson, CNM :) 

My first birth I attended/delivered as a CNM and my first Heartline baby :) 

 

Aunt Melissa & Ethan flew in about 2 weeks after we arrived so that we could share the beauty of Haiti with them as well as conduct a two-day medical clinic in a remote mountain village. We hiked in with all of our supplies on our backs and had the privilege to serve the beautiful and strong mountain people of Haiti.

 Matrons (lay midwives) in the mountains of Nouvelle Terrain 

Matrons (lay midwives) in the mountains of Nouvelle Terrain 

 Ethan & I during the medical clinic. 

Ethan & I during the medical clinic. 

Family Trip to Bassin Bleu 

Christin came all the way from Louisiana for my 30th birthday :) Phoebe and I soaked up having her with us and it definitely made a difference for us to have her in our home during a hard transition. 

We love Aunt Christin!!!! 

 

I started my trial period at Heartline Maternity Center in mid August and am working 2 call shifts a week along with prenatal clinic. I am truly loving the full scope midwifery care that Heartline models and am learning A TON about OOH (out of hospital) birth. The opportunity to work with incredible Haitian & American midwives/nurses alike is so very encouraging.  

Solange & her baby girl --- just one of the many mama & baby duo that are a part of the Heartline family! 

 

Phoebe started and 3rd grade at Satigny Primary School in Thomassin on September 11. She also started playing soccer with FC Toro. The smile on her face says it all--- she’s happy and is speaking 3 languages beautifully!

First Day of 3rd Grade 

Soccer vibes 

Our new schedule has required for me to find a trusted friend to be a “nanny” for Phoebe when I am on call or doing clinic. One of our neighbors (also our neighbor when we were in Thomassin from 2012-2014) has stepped up to be that person for our family. Valencia is doing a great job of making Phoebe feel safe when I’m not home and has also helped tremendously with her assimilation in language and culture. There are still some kinks that we have to work out due to cultural differences but we are hopeful that this will continue to be a good fit for our family and for Valencia! I could not do the work that I am here to do without a trusted person at home to make sure my Phoebe girl is safe and well taken care of when I’m caring for mamas and babies.

Valencia, PhoebeKate, & Alain 

 

So--- overall--- so far so good! We will continue to spend the coming weeks/months settling into our routines and trust that we are exactly where we are meant to be. No hurricane, riot, transportation strike, earthquake or any other series of unfortunate events could convince me otherwise.

Mountains Beyond Mountains, 

Jessica & PhoebeKate