Nirmala, our midwife in the house where Gamtha was born, speaks urgently to the mother-to-be. “Sharmila, you are too weak for this exhausting twin birth. The babies are not lying well, there could be complications. It will be safer for you and also for the babies if you have yourself taken to the hospital in Gamgadhi. Get on your way immediately! “
It’s March 7th and Sharmila, her husband Ram, and a small group of neighbors are leaving. The way to the small regional capital is long and arduous. Therefore, several men go with you in case Sharmila has to be carried. The only hospital in the Mugu mountain region is located in Gamgadhi. It is responsible for 55,000 people. In an emergency, they could do a caesarean section there.
14 hour walk through the high mountains for medical help
The heavily pregnant woman grits her teeth and walks hour after hour on well-trodden paths through the mountains. They march all day until darkness comes. On the way they stay in a village for the night. On the roof of a family, they can sleep on the floor in the empty shed where the grain is usually stored. The villagers share their evening meal with the group. And they wish them luck as they move on early the next morning at sunrise.
In the late afternoon they finally arrive in Gamgadhi. Our team is already waiting for the pregnant woman and accompanies her to the hospital. Sharmila ran for a day and a half without complaint to find medical help. She is examined in the hospital and our team accommodates Sharmila and her husband Ram Bahadur in a guest house in Gamgadhi close to the hospital until they are born.
The time has come on August 12, 2020. At 12.49 and 13.04 local time, their two boys see the light of day. One weighs 2500, the other 1600 grams. The birth is complicated and exhausting. Sharmila and the babies remain in the hospital for two more days.
According to doctors, the babies are healthy, but because of their low birth weight, further outpatient examinations are useful. Therefore, mother and children remain in Gamgadhi for a few days. The proud father returns to the village. It is not far from Gamgadhi to our first birth house in Loharbada. So our longest-serving midwife Janaki takes mother and babies under her wing. She takes care of the aftercare and assists Sharmila in looking after the two babies at the same time and slowly developing a routine. Sharmila is visibly recovering under her care.
In the meantime, Sharmila has walked all the way back to the village with her babies. From here Nirmala, our midwife in Gamtha, takes over again.
The two boys are called Bikram (ability, bravery, proficiency) and Bishal (Lord of Gods).
Nirmala is our chief midwife. She trains the younger generation and is the lead organizer of our programs on menstrual health, education, hygiene, etc. With her experience, she correctly assessed the situation. In doing so, she saved Sharmila’s life, say the doctors in Gamgadhi. For months she accompanied Sharmila through the twin pregnancy and made sure that she complied with all preventive medical checkups. She has often visited the pregnant woman at home to see how she is. Three years ago, Nirmala gave birth to Sharmila’s first child, a girl, in Gamtha’s birthplace.