If you’re currently pregnant, you might be trying to decide where to give birth.
You might be busy choosing between hospitals, birth centres and the comfort of your own home.
Perhaps you’re wondering who you would like with you during the birth.
Your partner, of course, but maybe you’re also considering asking your mama, sister or best friend to be there for support.
You might be thinking about where your baby will sleep once he arrives.
You might have bought a moses basket or crib to go next to your bed, and perhaps you’ve been picking out colours for the nursery.
What if you didn’t get to make these choices? What if uncertainty meant you had no control over where your baby was born? What if you didn’t know where you would be able to call home once your baby arrived?
Laboring At Sea Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) rescued a labouring woman from a rubber boat just last week. The charity’s Dignity I vessel is a rescue ship in the Mediterranean. On Sunday October 19th, 240 people were rescued from the Mediterranean.
Of these, 120 were discovered in a rubber boat, including pregnant women and children.
As one heavily pregnant woman was helped out of the rubber boat, it became clear that she was in pain. After being examined by a doctor, it was confirmed that 25-year-old Collins from Cameroon was in labour. Collins, who was pregnant with her second child, remained calm throughout the labour and welcomed a healthy baby boy just four hours after being rescued by the MSF.
Collins named her beautiful new son Divan and can be seen breastfeeding him in a touching moment captured on film. She looks like a proud mama, just like any other, and it’s hard to believe that just a few hours before she was risking her life to secure a better life for her baby.
Astrid Borjesson, the MSF midwife who delivered Collins’ baby, said: “I am really happy that we found her on time because if we would have come just four or five hours later she would have given birth on this very dirty rubber boat together with maybe 120 persons all very stuck together. It’s very scary to see that women in her condition take the chance to do this journey in the rubber boat and that makes us understand that they don’t have any options.”
Two hours after the birth, Collins and Divan were transferred to the Spanish Guardia Civil boat to begin their journey to Italy. Collins was forced to leave her first son, two-year-old Warren, and husband behind when she fled from kidnappers in her village. Warren is with his grandmother in Douala, but sadly, Collins doesn’t know whether her husband is still alive.
Recommended reading: For another incredible birth story, take a look at “I’ve Had My Baby Early, It’s 26 Weeks.”