For the Mothers and the Babies

"Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days..." - Isaiah 65:20

Eight days after I delivered Jude, I suffered from a postpartum hemorrhage. While it was a terrifying experience to bleed out in a public restroom and be taken by ambulance to the emergency room, there was an easy operation that fixed the problem. I stayed in the hospital for two nights and have fully recovered since. Meanwhile, postpartum hemorrhages account for more than 30 percent of all maternal deaths in Africa. I could have been one of them.

This morning I will be sharing a stage with Melinda Gates and Senator Frist, standing in solidarity of the 287,000 women around the world who die every year due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been leading the way in bringing awareness and support to vulnerable mothers and children in developing countries.

Following their lead, James and I have joined a growing coalition of faith-based organizations and advocates to make a stand for access to contraceptives and healthy family planning because of our commitment to save the lives of mothers and babies. We have also written an op-ed that unpacks the complexity of these issues in places like Kenya. Blood:Water is already actively supporting clinics and making safe delivery possible for thousands of mothers and babies. The babies in the photo was a celebration of a mama with preeclampsia and her twins' survival thanks to the clinical care they received.

But we still have a long way to go.

It seems fitting that on my first day back to work from maternity leave, I will be spending it at a gathering on behalf of mothers and babies worldwide who deserve a better story. I dream of Isaiah's vision of the new heavens and the new earth where never again will a baby live but a few days or a woman not live out her years. It was personal for me before, but now as a new mother with dreams for my own child, I wish it even more for our women and children around the world.