What Will Happen When I Am Away?
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I have mixed feelings today. I promised my husband I would go to his graduation ceremony next week in Yogyakarta, but there are two mothers in my village who I expect will give birth during that time. Knowing this, I have told the mothers I might not be able to help them to give birth, and I have helped them plan ahead.
I taught both mothers to recognize the signs that the baby is coming soon. I also introduced them to my friend, a midwife from the village next door. I gave them her phone number and told them that they should go to this midwife if they think they are going to give birth while I am away.
But I am afraid that they won't go to the midwife. They may go instead to a traditional birth attendant (TBA). I am especially worried because this happened once before. Not long ago, when I was in Jakarta to get an award, there was a mother who I had been caring for throughout her pregnancy. Since I knew that I would be away on her due date, I urged her to go to another midwife when the time came to give birth. I always explain to the mothers why it is better and safer to use a midwife. This mother seemed to understand. She told me she really did not want to give birth with a TBA.
But then when I got back from Jakarta I found out she did go to the TBA. I felt so down. It made me cry. I felt that all my efforts had been meaningless. When I spoke with her and asked her why she went to the TBA, she said that she was not sure why. She said felt shy about going to another midwife. Also her husband and parents pressured her to use a local TBA. Other women in the family had used the TBA when they gave birth, and it's part of their tradition.
I don't want this happen again. That is why I am so afraid to leave the village to go to Yogyakarta. I actually tried to cancel my trip, but my husband was unhappy about that. He has been studying in Yogyakarta for two years, and I've never visited him because I want to be in this village every day in case someone here needs me. There is no other midwife here. I want to be with the mothers when they need health assistance from me. If I'm not here they may go to the TBA. I hope this doesn't happen.
The good part is that my husband will be back here after he graduates. We won't have to live separately anymore, and I can always be here for mothers and young children in this village.