Fani and Gabriel, parents of Gabrielito, are pregnant with another child who will arrive in late February or early March. They have been very frightened to try again, because of Gabrielito’s complex heart defect. But most Panamanian children have siblings, even if not as many as in the years before birth control was available. And the doctor says a recurrence of Tetralogy of Fallot is unlikely.
Gloria is thrilled that she will be a grandmother again, and she is praying that the baby be born safely and in good health.
Friend and regular reader Randi, who sent money to help the family during Gabrielito’s time in the hospital, wrote a note of encouragement to Fani based on her own experience of complicated pregnancy and loss. Fani is a very reserved young woman, not given to talking about her feelings. But I think the note, among other encouragements, helped. Unfortunately there is no organized mental health support in rural Panama for families who lose, or almost lose, a child. They have to come to terms with the fear, and decide to try again, on their own.
I’ll just miss the birth of the new baby, alas — I’m going this year for the last week in January and first week in February. But I will see Fani while I’m there, and be able to give her encouragement and good wishes.
The birth of a new baby to a village family, no matter how poor, is celebrated as a gift from God and a precious thing. I’m happy that Fani and Gabriel are going to be parents again, and happy for the entire extended family.