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.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

A Trickle, Not A Flood

Exactly 4 weeks ago today, Haiti was struck by a magnitude 7 earthquake. Within a matter of weeks, over 130 of our children were evacuated to the countries their adoptive families are resident in.

We expected a flood of new admissions; children orphaned, injured or displaced by this disaster. What we are seeing, though, is a trickle, rather than a flood of very young infants whose parents bring them to our gate, asking that we take the babies in for temporary care or that we admit them with a view to adoption.
On Sunday, we received three month old Jerrensia into our baby house. Her Mother told us that the baby's father had died during the earthquake and that she couldn't provide for her new baby. Seeing this beautiful, fat, healthy infant who was clean, well dressed and contented in her Mother's arms, our Director couldn't help wondering whether this little one might be better off staying with her family. Jerrensia's Mother and Grandmother were thoroughly counselled, but they remained adamant that they wished to place her with us for adoption.

Minutes after Jerrensia's family left, our NICU nannies unwrapped the baby. They found that she had severely malformed lower legs and club feet. In Haiti, disability carries a huge amount of stigma. It is likely that Jerrencia's Mother gave her up for this reason and that she didn't tell us about her condition because she was afraid that if she did, we wouldn't take her.

At God's Littlest Angels,though, this special baby was quickly taken under the wing of our NICU nannies, who, declared her bright, beautiful and perfectly capable of day. Honestly, I am not sure that will be possible, but I think that our Haitian staff need to believe in possibility just now, and so I will not say a word that might crush their hopes for Jerrensia.

Tonight, we received another new baby. Peter was born around 10 weeks prematurely at the Baptist Mission Hospital in Fermathe. The staff at the Mission tell us that they are seeing a notable increase in the numbers of woman who have miscarried or gone into premature labour since last months earthquake. I can only imagine the torment of expectant Haitian Mothers in these frightening and uncertain times.

Peter is extremely fragile, but there are some factors that bode well for him: firstly, he weighs 2 pounds and 12 ounces, which is a good weight for a baby born at 28 weeks gestation. Secondly, his mother was given IV steroids at the onset of her labour; this will help mature Peter's lungs, giving him a much better chance of survial. Thirdly, he was transferred here quickly, and wasn't hypothermic for too long.

Peter is on oxygen and IV fluids just now and we have placed him in an incubator. We will be very, very careful in our management of this little boy. Although we lost baby Judeline a week ago - a preemie girl who was older and more mature than our newest boy - we choose to be hopeful for Peter. Those of you who pray, please lift this little one up to God, and ask him to strengthen Peter's tiny body, so that he might live, and grow and thrive.

1 comment:

Rebekah Hubley said...

Praying for your little ones and praying that medical visas start up soon! Any signs of hydrocephalus at all? What about a dimple above her bottom? Just thinking about spina bifida occulta, or a mild case of sb.

She will walk one day! whether it is with small braces on her legs... Did you see the video of Jonas walking??? If he can do it, so will this little girl!