God Giveth & God Taketh Away


We assume things are going to end well – a pregnancy obviously will end with a little bundle of joy. I guess it’s a belief God gives us so that we press on in life and look forward to the happy moments.

A women arrived at the clinic in distress – she was full term pregnant and was bleeding quite bad. Patient examined, the decision was made to give some fluids and rest a while. Ultrasound showed the rapid beating of a little heart. As the day progressed the bleeding stopped and contractions came closer. Fully dilated the patient began to push… It was one of those deliveries you enter with apprehension as something was not right. Being her seventh child, the delivery progressed rapidly and soon a head emerged and shortly after a limp body. Suction was done and vigorous stimulation but it was quickly evident it was going to take more. CPR was initiated… 1 minute… 5 minutes… 10 minutes… 15 minutes… All the while the mother watching on. With tears in our eyes we realized we had lost this little one – she wasn’t going to come back to us. As I turned and looked into the mother’s eyes, I slowly shook my head and said, “sorry.” What more can you say?

Like a true Maasai she looked stoically back and asked, “is it a boy or girl?”


“She would have been my first” is all she uttered.

Patient cleaned up, I went out to tell the waiting family of the loss. The sisters eyes got hazy but no tear dropped. The father and sister entered, said a few words to the mom and then looked at the baby wrapped in a blanket. “I’m so sorry” I whisper.

With sadness in his eyes the father turns to me and says, “God giveth and God taketh away.”

It’s beyond me how they can have such simple faith and not question or blame me. I come from a culture where we don’t let babies die and should the unthinkable happen we look for someone to blame. We take for granted that there will be an OR backing up our delivery, experts conducting the delivery, and every sort of medication or medical contraption you might possibly need.

Here life is simple… some live, some die… the Maasai have learned not to take life for granted but rather with childlike faith believe, that God giveth and God taketh – yet, blessed be the name of The Lord. Oh to have that faith…


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