All posts by Cathy

I am a daughter of God, wife, a mother of 6, Pastor's wife, Childbirth Educator.......I love God, I love my children, I love my husband, I love my church, I love my brothers and sisters in God. My interests are varied I am an ex school teacher/ childcare worker now a Homeschooler, I love children of all colours and creeds. I love colours, fabrics, scrapbooking, little girl's clothes, I love doing and being the unexpected. I love missions....I love God, this is my diary of truth and a glimpse into my spirit man. Enjoy.

Unwanted Babies

I am reminded again about the frailty of life in an urban slum.

This is a pretty sad story.

I am not going to post a picture

This poor woman is a victim, a victim of poverty and probably an abusive husband, she is trapped in her circumstance, she knows not what she does.

But to a Western mind it is good to be reminded, to be provoked to action.

ANALIZA’S STORY
Analiza is 42 years old this is her 8th pregnancy, unfortunately, only a few months before we found her she lost her 7th child 2 weeks after it was born.
She had terrible diabetes during her pregnancy (this birth as well) and she delivered at Mother and Child. The baby did not stop crying and was unwell, yet she checked herself out of hospital and this was a huge mistake.
In one week the baby developed a purple violet mark around its neck and it simply died during the night (no cold no temperature no laboring to breathe)
Once the baby got sick again and then died she was too scared to go back to the hospital, because they warned her not to go, and made her sign a waiver form.

She did not ask for help, she did not come to church, even though she knew the help was only around the corner, no-one knew that the baby died. She kept it secret and was very embarrassed.

The baby simply disappeared no funeral,  no grieving just silence.

 

Unfortunately, this kind of behavior although shocking is not unknown, the poor child was unwanted and I am guessing the mother was relieved it died. Sad shocking but true. She would have been under incredible pressure to come home from her husband and look after her other 6 chn…. so she discharged herself.

Now she is pregnant again, God help us, God help that child. we worked with her and really encouraged a ligation but I really do not think she understood, even in Tagalog. So so sad, unwanted and unloved babies. I cannot judge this woman, not really in my heart of hearts, we could never know the depths and desperation she feels.

I resolve to do what God tells me and educate as much as possible, especially our mothers.

I guess our only comfort as Christians is that child was known by God and treasured, it went to heaven to be loved and cherished.

Such a harsh world,

Mother Teresa understood.

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A Nation Leaning Into Change

I was a little surprised but thrilled when I saw a  newspaper when I was in Manila in September this year.

The headlines were remarkable.

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF NOT BREASTFEEDING
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From a country that allows Infant Formula advertisment to blazen boldly across their billboards and Televisions I was suitably impressed.

There were over 6 pages fully dedicated to Breasfeeding !

Also Philippine stars and VIPs supporting and advocating  breastfeeding both men and women!

Great links and advice, great images, even images showing breastfeeding TODDLERS.

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I know God has His eye on the Philippines and I am thrilled that He is stiring people even the famous ones to embrace truth, education and Him!

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There is a battle going on for the Children of this nation. I believe these are only prophetic steps in the right direction, it shows me that the Leaders and Influencers of the Nation are leaning into change, they also know it is up to them (Nationals) to bring true and lasting change NOT foreign missions and NGO’s the truth is change MUST eventually come from within.

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Am I doing myself out of a job? Absolutely

My desire is not to be needed.

Cath

Kids Making a Difference

Sammy is only 5 going on 6 but is making a difference to the lives of 2 babies in the slum of Manila

She worked extremely hard making Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and sold them at a Fair in The Barossa Valley she raised enough for 2 births making a difference to 2 Mothers and Babies in The Philippines . Well done Sammy!

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Here are your 2 mums, one of them has had their baby and was sick in hospital so your sponsorship has blessed this family in a time of great need!

EVALYN CELEBRAN/ RADO

BACKGROUND
Evalyn lives in an area in Baseco called Gasungang. She has a partner husband who is a Labourer and they live with their Mother-In-Law.
She is 21 and this is her first baby

PREGNANCY AND BIRTH
She had a good pregnancy
All testing and scans good
Good birth

BABY
Baby boy Galvin was born on June 13th 2016
He was 9lb and healthy
He is having all immunisations
She breastfed the baby and now is working so the Mother-In-Law is caring for the baby so they are bottle and breastfeeding him.

 

MARY-JOY VILLAGONZALO/RELESO

BACKGROUND

Mary-Joy lives in a part of Baseco called Aplaya, this is very close to the sea and often floods, the area was recently underwater in a typhoon and the water was up to Pastora Marivic’s waist, when she visited the area the women were sitting on top of the rooves or on top of plastic boxes with their belongings in.

PREGNANCY AND BIRTH
As far as we know the pregnancy went well for Mary-Joy as we had limited conversation with her, but her pregnancy was fine.
This baby was actually born at Home (which is not ideal and not what we advocate but it does happen, but as soon as he was born they took him to the Baseco Health Centre who checked him and gave him injections and newborn screening. See Mark’s Blog for details HERE


BABY
Baby was born on the 4th June 2016
His name is Prince Kian
He was 9.8lb and very healthy
She was breastfeeding him
He then developed a serious Chest infection and was admitted into The Gat Andreas Hospital on the 29th of August with BPM (Bronchial Pneumonia)
We visited him in The Gat soon after that and he was getting better slowly.

 

The most important thing is that sponsorship allows these parents to buy medicine and travel to and fro to the hospital, that is extremely important as every single swab and injection costs in The Philippines. So without Sponsorship this baby and his family would have had a big struggle to pay.

Thanks Sammy for your sponsorship, you really really made a difference.
Love Aunty  Cath

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New Don Bosco Mums

Here are some new mums from Don Bosco sponsored by The Koster family.

Mylene Cegundo is 32, she already has 1 child and she is 3 months pregnant, she is now on the BBB programme.

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Part of our BBB programme is education. In fact it is THE most powerful and life changing aspects of BBB. We have fpound that slowly as we talk and mentor and stand with our mums they are making better choices and planning for their babies. This year we are starting with the very basics in Don Bosco.

Eating healthy

Drinking lots of water

Germs and basic first aide

Choosing a hospital or Centre birth

Immunisations and Baby checkups

Contraception

Body Awareness/Avoiding Pregnancy

The Koster’s second birth is a very young lady in Don Bosco. Rose Ann Gunno is only 18 year old and this is her first baby. She is 3 months pregnant and her partner is a worker in Divisoria.

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We have so many teen pregnancies in Manila and the Philippines in fact the Philippines is one of the highest rates in the world for teen pregnancies. Something we aim to see reduced. We teach and focus on these aspects continually!

Thanks Kosters and pray for these ladies. It makes a difference. You already have made a difference!

Blessings

Cathy Mark and Chris.

New Life In Don Bosco

We are excited to launch Birthing Better Babies in Don Bosco!

A generous donor has helped launch BBB in this very depressed area of Manila.

Don Bosco is a different world from Baseco, these residents are housed in huge 2 story buildings, no light no fresh air, animals it is often very depressing.

You can watch a video here of Ps Mark in Don Bosco,

https://markpedder.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/watch-don-bosco-mark-pedder-on-youtube-2/

But like everywhere people need Jesus, they need the fresh air of God and the good that follows His presence. BBB is one way we can breathe life on the women of Don Bosco.

Over the next few weeks we will be posting photos of new mum’s some very young, who we can love and pray for and speak life over. Light comes in many forms and Jesus said when he was sorting the sheep and the goats in Matthew

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

This is a practical way we can bless women and babies in Don Bosco and it works!

Stay tuned

Cathy Mark and Chris xx

Educate Educate Educate

I often think about disasters in The Philippines….I have seen a BIG typhoon and the effects of them and frankly they are SCARY, imagine if you are heavily pregnant living through this ……so I think of our precious mums and their babies often…….

Facts are that babies are born early when disaster strikes, prem babies are common….but with some simple principles we can help educate our mum’s…this is a great article in Midwifery Today, simple but loads we can use! Kangaroo Care is simple but effective!

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Prematurity and Kangaroo Care during a Disaster

After Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda slammed into our central islands here in the Philippines last November, I saw a picture in the local paper of several newborn premature babies all wrapped in plastic bags and set on a counter in a broken-down chapel of a hospital. I knew in that instant that if only we could get down there to provide, and teach others to provide, good midwifery care, including the very simple and totally free concept of “kangaroo care” for the preemies, we could save many lives.

For many years, I have been teaching Disaster Preparedness and Response, which is no surprise since I live in a country with the most natural disasters of almost any…country. (The Philippines regularly is in the top three countries each year with the most natural disasters and the most deaths from natural disasters.) We have earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, mudslides, typhoons and super typhoons, and we have very little ability as a country to cope with, or mitigate, large-scale disasters, which was the case when the largest storm to ever make landfall occurred on November 8, 2013.

There are two things we know about disasters:

  1. Disasters tend to cause premature labors, due to the stress they put on pregnant women in the vicinity when the disaster strikes. This unfortunately creates a situation where premature births are happening under the worst of circumstances—during a typhoon, flood, blizzard, earthquake or an act of terrorism.
  2. Access to hospitals, NICUs and advanced medical care is often severely blocked, limited or totally destroyed in a natural or man-made disaster zone.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that there are a few simple, easy solutions to this problem. It will require midwives all over the world, including in the US, to be prepared to address the problem of premature deliveries following any disaster.

Current best practice for prematurity, to prevent mortality and morbidity, dictates two things:

  1. We should try to prevent a baby being born with immature, under-developed lungs.
  2. We should care for any babies that are born premature with kangaroo care.

With regard to the first practice, at the recent Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we learned about new protocols for the use of antenatal corticosteroids for threatened preterm birth. USAID is advocating that all midwives and doctors use these corticosteroids if premature delivery seems inevitable, as they cause a premature infant’s lungs to produce surfactant, thereby helping to prevent death from respiratory distress caused by immature lungs.

Vicki Penwell
Excerpted from “Prematurity and Kangaroo Care during a Disaster,” Midwifery Today, Issue 111

 

 

 

“Illegal Abortions” Reality Check

Over the past 5 years Ps Mark, Christine and I have seen various and shocking incedents of illegal abortions in Baseco, we have seen suspected failed abortions and babies have been born with extreme and sometimes life threatning disfigurements and sicknesses. We have met ladies unable to concieve probably due to botched abortions…. we have heard stories and grieved over this very thing.

This determines us once again to persist in BBB and make a change, give women and girls an option to control their fertility, educate them to understand their bodies and to help them to stay in school as long as possible. To help them understand God has a plan for them and a hope and future.

We are determined to make a change.

This video is excellent but is graffic in areas. But reality.

Ponder these things and they will make you want to make a difference

Cathy

Teen Pregnancy

This is Melissa

She is 14

She has started a journey

She is hardly out of childhood

She has begun Motherhood before she knew her heart or mind

We need to look at her face and ask what can we do

We must build a fence

Not just an ambulance at the bottom

God help us

Help us give back childhood to this generation

Help us leave motherhood till later

They have time

She had time.

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Oasis Church Baby Born

We are amazed by people who just donate spontaneously to BBB, this is just another church who had a baby on their heart and gave….thanks so much Oasis!

You will be blessed because your eye is touched and your hand is moved to make a difference!

Here is your mum and baby

LEAH JANE LUNZAGA

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  • Leah is 22 years old
  • She lives in Tambukan
  • She is married and her husband is a Pedicab driver

PREGNANCY AND BIRTH

  • There were no complications in pregnancy
  • Baby was born on 23rd August 2015
  • His name is Matthew Bertuso
  • He weighed 2.7kg, the Pastor described him as tiny but strong!
  • He was born in Hospital at the Mother and Child
  • No complications in birth
  • No probs breastfeeding

 

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Such a sweet contented face

Thanks Cathy, Mark and Chris x

Babies Having Babies

One of our greatest challenges in the Phillipines is Teen Pregnancies

We see it every time we visit the team on the ground in Baseco see it weekly, kids having kids.

This is Michelle she was 13 when she became pregnant

I see fear

I see pain in her face

Jesus help us make a difference

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This is what I wrote about her when I came home from The Philippines last year, worth another blog!

This gorgeous girl is only 13 years old, she will be 14 soon, what is tragic is she knows little about herself her body and parenting.  Yet she is pregnant. Tragic early teen pregnancies like this should not happen, it creates a cycle of poverty and traps girls and teens in it for the rest of their lives. BBB are trying to do as much as possible to change this kind of event. Body awareness c;lasses are now mandatory for out church kids, they will know their bodies and how to avert pregnancies. It is a start. Slow and steady we will win this race.

  • Michelle is only 13 years old

  • She is 2-3 months pregnant

  • She has a boy who is only 16, and he is violent (see Mark’s blog on her situation) it explains how we Pastor these kids through these circumstances.

  • She lives in Block 15 with her mother (not married) they are cramped in a tiny house and peel garlic all day)

PREGNANCY AND BIRTH

  • We met Michelle and we actually encouraged her to go to the Lying in Centre and she actually did. That is a good good sign. Often younger girls are too afraid and will not go. Michelle seems brave and willing which is a good sign.
  • We have also talked about contraception, she seems good about the idea.

 

The whole situation is so sad, grieves my heart that these babies who know nothing are having more babies. No childhood, no education no freedom. Tragic waste of life. Unless Jesus intervenes they live without a hope!

 

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Just sayin’

Cath