The story of Monique-Lucie Marie, the cute Haitian baby with the Canadian name

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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JACMEL, Haiti - If you read this story in a few years' time, Monique-Lucie Marie, here's how things happened on the day you were born.
You came into this world in a medical clinic run by the Canadian military, in a canvas tent just a few metres off the beach in Haiti.
Your country had just been crippled by a powerful earthquake that reduced the area around you to chunks of rubble.
Your grand entry occurred on a Thursday, with the help of the Canadian soldiers who'd come to lend a hand in your battered country.
You had a full head of hair, weighed six pounds, and already had this habit of bumping your tiny hand into your button-shaped nose.
Your first name, by the way, comes from Canada.
Its origins can be traced back to places called Oromocto, N.B., and Quebec City, the respective home towns of Cpl. Monique Bartlett and Master Cpl. Lucie Rouleau, the two Canadian medical technicians who assisted in the delivery.
Your father promised he'd tell you one day why he and your mom chose it.
"I did it to say thank you," said Jean-Charles Pierre.
"I will tell her one day that in the middle of a natural catastrophe, Canadians were in Jacmel. And she carries their name."
After the delivery, Pierre was proudly snapping pictures on a digital camera of you, Bartlett and Rouleau. One is an Anglo from a military town in eastern Canada, the other a francophone from a provincial capital famous for its stone walls and European architecture.
Yours was the first delivery of a newborn baby in the military clinic by the beach in Jacmel, the base of Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team. Other Canadians were involved in similar deliveries at another clinic in nearby Leogane.
Foreign militaries and aid workers have been handling much of the medical work in southern Haiti communities ever since the earthquake struck Jan. 12.
Mom-to-be Marie-Jean Jilles arrived at the military clinic early Thursday morning with light contractions. After several hours of labour, the delivery occurred at just before 1 p.m. and went smoothly. No painkillers were required.
It took a while to get the breastfeeding going, because you resisted taking your first sip. But you eventually latched on, which prompted a rousing round of applause from the Canadian soldiers in the tent.
Monique was the first one to get news about the name. She explained that she learned about it from your dad.
"He said, 'You delivered the baby. So what's your name? And I said, 'Monique.' And then he said, 'Who's that over there?' I said, 'Lucie.'
"So he said, 'I'm going to name the baby Monique-Lucie.' "
She was a little emotional when she found out, she said.
"I was very touched - and I can't describe how amazing it feels. It was an honour."
Lucie put her hand to her heart when asked how she felt about the name.
"It gives you a funny feeling," she said. "It was very moving for us."
Maj. Annie Bouchard, also from Quebec City and an obstetrician by training, looked on to make sure things went smoothly. She couldn't participate herself because she'd broken her hand in a fall some days earlier.
"I didn't even feel it," Bouchard joked, when asked about the delivery. "I just supervised the delivery behind those two. They did great. So I only had to give advice."
On the day you were born, there were lots of funeral hearses in the area and the smell of bodies was still strong as collapsed buildings were being cleared by bulldozers.
But by the beach, in that little green tent, you made lots of people smile that day.

Geographic location: JACMEL, Haiti, Canada Quebec City Oromocto Leogane Southern Haiti

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Recent comments

  • Small
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    There ae no words for this story....simply, beautiful.