Posted by: joan49 | December 21, 2011

The Boat “Delivery”

Hi, everyone, I want to share a story that happened recently as I was on the 12-hr night boat ride to come back to my island from the mainland.  I was trying to sleep in spite of the large waves when someone came for me around 3am to inform me a patient on the boat needed to see me.  I followed the messenger through the crowded room strewn with people sitting or lying on the floor wherever they could find a place to stretch out, and saw a young pregnant woman in obvious pain.  Nine months pregnant, her waters had broken earlier that evening several hours after we had already left from Padang.  This was her first pregnancy and she was travelling alone.  Her husband worked on another island far away, and so close to her due date she wanted to be near family so was returning to Mentawai.  Her contractions had been coming with increasing frequency for the past hour and finally the discomfort and fear prompted her to ask for help.  We took her into the Muslim prayer room on the boat so she could have some privacy, and two hours later I delivered my first “boat baby” – a healthy baby girl!  When we arrived in Sikakap around 6 in the morning, her father was one of the first on the boat.  He found her, saw his new grandchild, and he and his daughter both burst into tears.  He had heard the news that his daughter was coming home, and walked for the past 2 1/2 days from his village so he could be there to meet the boat…

Happy Mom and Healthy Baby

It was an amazingly fast delivery especially considering this was her first pregnancy, and I was, and am still, grateful that it went so smoothly.  Interestingly, the boat captain got to name the baby, and he named her after her father’s name (Rahmawati), her mother’s name (Puspita) and the name of the boat (Ambu-Ambu).  So her name is Rahmawati Ambu-Ambu Puspita Putri.  Putri was his own addition and is Indonesian for “princess”.  She will be giving a special certificate documenting her birth on the boat and for the rest of her life will be able to ride Ambu-Ambu free of charge.   I only hope she has an adventurous spirit and enjoys travelling so can take advantage of her rather unusual, and certainly unique, birthright.

May we all experience the miracle of Christmas this season!

Love, Karen


  1. Karen, how scary and how exciting! You are so blessed that you were able to get to her and comfort her and help her with that brand new life! Love to you!

  2. That is absolutely incredible!!!! I can’t even imagine what you must have felt like and what a blessing to the young lady that you were there to comfort her and secure a safe delivery for her! God’s timing is pretty amazing!

  3. Blessings to you, dear Karen, in this Advent and Christmas season! What joy to see God’s gift of life appear and for you to participate in that each moment!

  4. What a great story. Something tells me the mom is going to find a place to insert your name in the list.

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