I had just completed my clinical hours for midwifery school when I was made aware by a niece of mine that there was an influx of Haitian Immigrants stuck at the Tijuana Border. I was baffled because I had not heard anything on the news, radio or social media. Finally I found one short radio clip on KPBS. I immediately thought about the women and children, specifically the pregnant women and babies. Who was caring for them? How were they being treated? I went through a mental battle with myself. My rational side said “ no Tema, you can not help, you need to pass your licensure exam first” but my heart said “If you don’t help then no one will help. This is why you are a midwife!” Well, needless to say, my heart won that battle. The very next morning I packed up my little prenatal bag and went to Casa Madre Asunta, a refuge for Migrant Women in Tijuana. There I only found one pregnant mother and she was about 8 months pregnant. I pulled out my doppler and she heard her baby’s heart rate for the very first time.
Immediately after that, I went to largest shelter El Desayunador del Padre Salesiano, and there I was met with a line of 16 pregnant women.
I spent 8 hours providing what was for most of them their very first prenatal appointment.
I drove home crying, thinking of their reality, thinking “How in the world am I going to pull this off?”…