Monday, August 24, 2009

Reposted: The Baby Factory

This is a repost from Random Posts, when I was blog hopping today. I was really out for words when I read the article. It was heart-wrenching and I count myself very blessed for what I have. I hope reposting this will reach more people and will hopefully raise funds for the Fabella Hospital.
Dear Friends,

For some time now, Ingrid and I have been talking about raising money for Fabella Hospital. My goal is to buy a hospital-grade breastpump, while Ingrid was talking about buying baby bassinets, since currently there is a serious bassinet shortage in there.
I first learned about its existence when my friend Jun-Jun sent me this link where I found these photos by Jorem and Sheila Catilo. They are heart-wrenching, but please take time out to view them. The photos tell a story and that is, these people need our help.

Fabella hospital

About the photos

I've always loved photographing children. It's such a joy to be able to capture them whether they're in their most innocent or most mischievous moments. But this experience was different, and definitely one I would never forget.

Last Tuesday, Jorem and I went to the Dr. Jose Fabella Hospital with Rea Gomez-Harrow to shoot some pictures to post on the Moms for Moms site. It was probably the hardest shoot I've ever been through in all my years of being a photographer.

"Are you ready?" She asked, as we walked across the entrance of the ER right after a woman was brought out of the ambulance in a stretcher, her legs stained with blood, ready to give birth. There were pregnant women everywhere - in the hallways, sitting on the steps, walking around just waiting for their turn. I knew I had to brace myself for this.

The scent was familiar. It's only been 6 months since I got out of the hospital after giving birth to our first baby. Had I been there a couple of years ago, it would have been different. But as we walk into what was 4 rooms full of maybe a hundred bassinets or more, I felt my knees weaken and my heart crumble. I look through the viewfinder and get ready to shoot, but all I see is a blur as tears start to well up. My heart was pounding to the rhythm of infants crying in chorus. I turn my head, three babies are sharing one bassinet while the other had two. One baby's face is already pushed against the other's knee. Can he still breathe? I look the other way and one baby's arm is as thin as my finger. There are tubes and needles, bottles of fluids running through their tiny bodies. Due to the lack of linens, three newly delivered babies share what looked like an old hand towel to keep them warm. Each was labeled with a medicine box cutout attached to their wrists with a string like a piece of evidence. It was hard to believe all of it was real. I knew there were going to be a lot of babies, but not like this. It was beyond what I expected. To say it was heartbreaking would be an understatement.

I've never seen so many babies all in one place at the same time, and seeing them in this condition just didn't feel right. But this is how it's always been in Fabella. Everyday, mothers flock to this place to give birth because it's the only place they can go to. Due to the sheer volume of women giving birth each day, some have to go home a few hours after delivery while others who can't share a tandem bed with 2-3 others to be able to rest. According to a social worker we talked to, some of them don't even want to leave. To them, it's a roof over their heads, a soft bed and regular meals. For their children, it's a far better environment to survive in for their first few days of life.

It's a sad reality to face, but it's real nonetheless. So if these images move you to help, please do with what you can, in any way you can. Feel free to repost, link or contact us about it. Help us help Fabella.

"Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital is a Maternal and Newborn Tertiary Hospital in Santa Cruz, Manila.
It started as a six-bed capacity clinic called the 'Maternity House' on November 9, 1920 and was founded by then Chairman of Public Welfare Board, Dr. Jose Fabella...To date, it has an authorized bed capacity of 700.
The hospital is considered a 'baby factory' as 20 percent of all babies in Metro Manila are born here. As of 2003, it had an average of 88 daily live births." Wiki

To raise money for the hospital, Ingrid has started an auction of one of her prized Hermes bags.
The Victoria bag is worth Php 200,000, and while Ingrid opened the bid at Php 100, the bid is now over Php 20,000.

Since Ingrid and I started talking about this, I have already raised Php 35,000 which will be added to the Fabella fund. (*gulp*) (Waahhhh!!! I'm not allowed to spend it!!) I have not been to Fabella Hospital but I promised Ingrid I will go with her when she makes the donation.

If you should be so moved to make a donation in any amount, please click on the Paypal button below.
I shall keep you posted on the outcome.
Ingrid and I have a goal of Php 100,000, so we're not too far from it.

Please feel free to repost this in your personal sites.

If you want to help, you can donate or repost this in your blogs or personal sites. Thanks!

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