I spent a day at Fabella last Oct. 31, 2013. I was mentally and emotionally preparing myself for the visit, which is part of NIVE BABYY’s ful wondercampaign, #CaringBeyondSkincare. I was a NICU mom and I know the toll of seeing your tiny baby all wired up in his isolette fighting to be healthy. Everytime I think about Fabella and the babies, I feel a heaviness in my heart. And so when NIVEA BABY told us that we will be given the opportunity to actually visit Fabella, the Maternity and NICU ward and to talk to the mommies there, I was excited. I was scared too.
Then the day finally came. I rode to Fabella with Jackie, which actually helped me because this woman exudes positivity and I really needed loads of that to wash over my anxiety. I wasn’t familiar with Manila and after passing through narrow roads, we finally got to the hospital. It is an old building much like the Spanish-era buildings around Manila. There was a line of people at the Philhealth and Emergency section. There was a huge crowd at the waiting area. It was a hot day that day.
After being briefed on what we will be doing, we were finally given a go signal to go up to Maternity Ward 4.
I wasn’t expecting it but I felt at peace when I and the other mom bloggers went to the ward.
At Ward 4, everyone was in white. The babes were in white tie-sides and moms were in their white gowns and headbands. The big room didn’t have air conditioning but there were enough fans to keep the air circulating. It was humid but it was still comfortable. I noticed that some of the patients actually brought their own fans too. The ward and the linens were all clean and there were janitors going around sweeping and picking up trash.
The peace that I felt at the beginning shifted to eagerness. I went around the ward and started chatting up the moms. I was hesitant at first as I thought that some of them would rather just rest than talk to a complete stranger. They were very gracious in indulging my questions and in showing off their babies. Of course they would be! Their babies are beautiful, pink, healthy and loved. I listened to them intently. I am thankful that they indulged a fellow mom with their stories and bits of their personal lives.
Some were new moms, some had 3-4 other kids already. New moms or not, the peace and glow of new motherhood is clearly seen in their faces. Each child is a chance at a new beginning and the possibilities of a better future hung in the air.
Two to three beds are brought together and two to four moms share this makeshift accommodations. Babies are all kept in the middle. Some of the moms leave their babies for their check-ups and family planning counseling. The other moms keep watch and some moms even wet nurse the other little babies. The bond of motherhood is strong and each child becomes their own too even for a few days.
Mommy Maria Mercedes is a new mom and this is her boy Martin. She was so eager and happily breastfeeding her little bundle of joy when Jackie and I went to her. She told us how she never knew how difficult pregnancy and childbirth would be. We lingered in her area because she was so positive and chatty. She couldn’t wait to get her son home so that she and her husband can begin their new lives together.
After talking to these wonderful moms, my eagerness got a new partner. I felt hopeful. It was a sudden surge that I welcomed very much 🙂
After Ward 4, we met with Ma’am Sally, the head nurse of the NICU unit who led us to Fabella’s NICU. She was thankful for the help NIVEA BABY provided. The NICU is a clean, safe place for sick babies to get strong and recover. Although it is still crowded and infection control is difficult the dedicated doctors and nurses provide care round the clock. Among the things the NICU team requested is basins for every station to ensure that doctors and nurses have easy access to clean, running water. NIVEA BABY did a wonderful job although they weren’t able to finish the flooring because the NICU team requested that they be able to move the babies to the unit right away.
NIVEA BABY also is taking care of the Breastfeeding room. What was once a crowded, hot area is not comfortable, clean and welcoming. Perfect for moms to nourish their babies in peace 🙂
I left Fabella with a big smile on my face and a heart full of gratitude. The opportunity to meet the wonderful staff and the moms and babies of Fabella is a once in a lifetime experience and I am truly grateful for the privilege. I left there so much more eager to spread the word about the good work that the staff of Fabella is doing. I do pray that the help they need get to them. A lot of Pinoy babies in Manila are born in Fabella and they truly deserve better and brighter beginnings 🙂
I’ll be sharing more of the campaign in a video we made for NIVEA BABY and their #CaringBeyondSkincare campaign and then I’ll tell you more about how we can all help further the cause so that we can all help out Fabella. Are you excited as I am??