In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord

My mind has been drifting up the mountain to Kenscoff all weekend.

Our premature baby died on Friday morning, too small and too weak. We called her Papa to the NICU and he was present when her heart stopped for the second time. We could not start it again, and the decision was out of our hands. As Dixie removed the tubes and expressed her regret, the Papa put his head in his hands and wept. There are few things more devastating that a Father's cries.

.What will be in that Manman's mind, I wonder, when she undoes the sheet, to reveal the body of her tiny infant. Will she groan? Wail? Tear at her clothes? Fall to the ground? Will she rock her and sing? Refuse to believe? Or, will she hold everything back? I can only guess. I can't really know, but, my mind is drifting off to Kenscoff, to a 26 year old lady, who loved this tiny girl so much, that sick and weak though she was after a difficult pregnancy, she sent breast milk to the orphanage every day, because I told her it was the best thing for the baby and that it might help. Now, Manman's breasts will be full of milk. They will be heavy and they will ache. And perhaps Manman will be left with the insubstantial weight of the baby we called Gabriella in her arms, even after the infant has left them. Grief is like that.

These past three months have been tough in the NICU. Not a single week has gone by without a crisis. First Jonathon, then Baby S. A baby with septicaemia; so sick that we almost most her. A 6 month old who developed bloody diarrhoea and stopped breathing. An HIV positive boy with recurrent pneumonia. Now Gabriella. I try to be positive but in all honesty, I am feeling the strain. We are on an emotional roller-coaster here. Most of our babies do not have mothers. We are not just nurses and nannies to these little ones and by the same token, they are so much more than patients or charges to us. We carry an incredible weight of responsibility in our hearts, and it is really hard sometimes.

"Dee Dee", ready to catch a flight to the States with Dixie, early this morning. She was extremely ill last month with septicaemia but is now well enough to travel for surgery to correct her club feet.

Gabriella died at 8:30 in the morning. Within the hour, another infant arrived in a critical condition. She came from another orphanage in our area. This 11 month old baby was relinquished by her birth family two months ago. She has been refusing to eat for sometime. She developed watery diarrhoea and was so dehydrated when she got here that she was going into shock. We started her on an IV and antibiotics, but she is still refusing to eat. Perhaps she is missing her Mum. Perhaps she is not feeling well, but this baby must eat in order for her gut to heal. If she is not eating by tomorrow, I will have to site a feeding tube. Please remember her in your prayers. We do not know her name and so we are calling her "Fifi" for now. When she is better, she will return to the orphanage she came from.

I am so glad that Fifi made it here and that she arrived when she did. She is being lavished with love and attention. She is not the only one who will be healed.

Then Job arose... and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:
“ Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD. (Job 1:20-22).


nicnacpaddywac said...

Oh gosh - may Gabriella rest in peace. Thinking of her parents and all at GLA who cared for her.

Hoping and praying that Fifi begins eating and becomes well again.

sea salt MOSAIC said...

How beautiful are the hands of God who gives life and takes away life. He has called you to a mighty purpose and only He can carry you through and sustain you during these emotional highs and lows. My heart aches for you and the children you so desperately love and care for. Praying for you.

syiling peringatan malaysia said...

very touching story ....

nice to meet you ....

from Kuala Lumpur