Jabat’s fairy godmother

Happy mother Mamiita Nabau with her New Year’s baby, Jabat Victor Olea Taneti. Photo: Isaac Marty.
Happy mother Mamiita Nabau with her New Year’s baby, Jabat Victor Olea Taneti. Photo: Isaac Marty.


Jabat Victor Olea Taneti, six pounds and two ounces, and Sam Lojeto Joiji, six pounds and four ounces, are the 2016 New Year’s Day babies. Both are a blessing to their families, but Jabat’s birth was also a blessing in itself as it took place without a nurse.

Jabat’s unexpected arrival was a surprise and no nurse was with his mother Mamiita Nabau to help deliver him when he was born around 3:15am Friday. Mamiita gave birth in one of the waiting rooms with help from Anneth Tarbwillin, who happened to be there at the time.

Mamiita said she was admitted on December 29, nine days past her due date. If she was not able to give birth about a week after her admittance, then it would mean surgery, she said.

Mamiita’s younger sister was her caretaker while in the hospital. As they waited, Mamiita wanted to move around to exercise to help her give birth. And so she did. Later, she was given an abdominal massage which hurried the delivery process. She felt pain and next thing she knew the baby was coming.

When Jabat came out, he wasn’t crying. Anneth took Jabat, tapped on his chest, grabbed him by leg and turn him upside down, and tapped him on his back and butt before he coughed and started crying.

Mamiita’s younger sister went to look for nurses to come and cut the cord since Anneth was not able to. Hospital midwife Nora Lieman came and cut the cord and did everything else. According to Nora, she was expecting Mamiita a few hours later and was nearby on standby.

“Giving birth at the waiting room is not new,” said Nora. “In most cases, it’s the Marshallese medicine that hurries the delivery process and it’s out of our control because we can’t force the mothers not to take local medicine.”

Anneth rose to the challenge. She is a hospital employee who is a fully recovered mental health patient, and provides receptionist, janitorial and outreach education services as part of her job with the Ministry of Health.

Anneth has never experienced being a midwife for a birth, but given the situation with Mamiita she had no choice. “I was just visiting after the girls (Mamiita and her younger sister) came to the house earlier (located in the area across the road from the emergency room),” she said.

Baby boy Jabat is named after a late Laura alab who took Mamiita’s father, Tion Nabau (former attorney for Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority), as his son. Jabat is a new Laura boy, he’s I-Kiribati, and is second from older brother, one-year-and-six-months old, Johnwilliam (named after Tion, Kiribati’s for John).

Meanwhile, later on New Year’s Day, at 5:55pm, Sam was born. Nurses were there and everything went smoothly. Sam brought smiles to his mother Atella Jamore as did Jabat. Sam is a third child.

Read more about this in the January 8, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.