Happy Mama's Day

This Mama's Day, we did a lot of celebrating. With these two little ones,
the best mom in the world as my mama...

 and a wonderful and loving mother-in-law, 

what is there not to celebrate? 
Nothing. I am so very blessed. 
When something is difficult in my very blessed life, it's very much a "first-world problem."
You know the kind: stressful mornings get out of the house to be on time for work/school, health insurance premium and deductible going up, rift with the boss/ coworker, broken wash machine...

And then I hear about a woman-- many women--who die in childbirth because they didn't have access to anything sterile when it came time to cut the umbilical cord. I hear about a child who is blind due to an infection that could have been prevented if there had been some gauze in the room when she was born. And I feel like a jerk for complaining about, well, anything.

Thankfully, there are people out there who don't sit around feeling like a jerk... they take their OB skills and volunteer in places like Papua New Guinea (where one in seven women die in childbirth), and introduce the concept of hand washing, a sterile razor, tying the umbilical cord, wiping the infant's eyes and birthing on a clean surface. Then they provide the tools to make it happen (gloves, soap, twine, razor, gauze, plastic sheet). Then they leave the kit with the mom-to-be and her birthing attendant and head back to their First World practice and hope they've saved some lives.

Tonight, we celebrated Mother's Day by packing 100 of these Birthing Kits to be sent to one such amazing doctor in Australia. Friends came over and folded plastic sheets, cut soap, measured twine and stuffed 100 ziplock bags in the hope that a mama and baby-- or 100 mamas and babies!--will be safer, healthier and loved by strangers here in Oregon. 

Here's a picture of one of the kits, alongside a picture that Winona drew to put in the box: a mama, a baby (with music notes coming out of her mouth!) and a picture of one of the kits-- under a sunny sky. 

Happy Mother's Day, to mamas everywhere!

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