A Mother’s Strength – Nadège’s Story
“I never thought I would get pregnant. I never thought I would have triplets. I met this man at a party, and while I was completely alone, his family became mine.”
Nadège Orélien, a 32 year-old woman from Doko, a small village in Thomonde, Haiti, works as a maid in people’s home. Last year, she was at work washing dishes when she started having nausea, headaches and fever. The thought of having a child never crossed Nadège’s mind. Instead, she was convinced she had caught a virus. Two months later, she decided to visit Project Medishare’s maternity center in Marmont, a short motorcycle ride from her home. At the center, she met with Miss Napoléon, the center’s highly respected head nurse. At first glance, Miss Napoléon realized there was something different about Nadège’s pregnancy. When she finally agreed to an ultrasound three months later, only then did Nadège come to terms with the fact that she was carrying more than one child, and understand the high risk of her pregnancy.
During this difficult time, Nadège had no family to support her. As an orphan since adolescence, she had to learn from a young age to take care of herself. Her strong character helped her cope with the reality that the father of her children abandoned her after learning about the pregnancy. The nurses and moms at the maternity clinic stepped in to support Nadège. At the education and counseling sessions she attended, she learned not only from the medical staff, but also from other pregnant women. Meeting others in the same situation as her, although she was the only one carrying triplets, helped Nadège comprehend that her lifestyle would now change and her focus would shift to taking care of her children.
At nine months, when her time arrived to give birth, Nadège paid a man on a motorcycle to bring her to the maternity center. When she arrived, the nurses described her as being very relaxed and cheerful. Nadège was indeed very excited to see her babies, who for nine months stretched their arms and heads on each side of her belly. Even while in pain during labor, she continued to make jokes with the nurses in order to calm herself – and everyone else – down.
After delivering her first baby girl Emmanuella, Nadège waited almost an hour for Emmanuelson, a perfectly healthy baby boy to be delivered. Unfortunately, soon after he was born, the midwives noticed there was no sign of life from the third infant, another boy.
Nadège became the talk of the town – triplets in Haiti are rare. Her story made its way to the parents and sisters of her children’s father. They welcomed her into their family, and Nadège and her children now live with them. Nadège expressed how lucky she is to have finally found a family, and most importantly, to have her two beautiful, healthy babies.
Celebrate Mother’s Day, May 29th in Haiti, by supporting safe pregnancies in Haiti’s rural areas.