Saturday, 3 April 2010
Our NICU staff have commented several times in the past week, about how beautiful our babies are, and it is true - they really are beautiful.
Many of them have come as tiny infants. A number of them require a great deal of care. It truly is our privilege to tend to them:
Baby Jude is recovering from an episode of diarrhoea and vomiting that made him very sick, and very weak. His mother, Marie Noel, was with us briefly at the end of the month. Our goal was to teach her to care for her son so that she could return home with him, but we had to ask her to leave after she became hysterical, turned Jude upside down and began spinning him by the ankles! She proceeded to collapse and feign a seizure, before jumping up and launching herself at me.
Most of our Haitian staff believe that Marie Noel is possessed by an evil spirit. A few think that she is mentally ill. Marie Noel herself says that she has is a violent person and that she is cursed and must stay away from Jude because she 'makes' him ill. In her mind, it is her fault that he was sick shortly after he was born. The fact that he became very sick again a few days after she came to GLA, seems to confirm the guilt she feels. Jude's future is uncertain. He is a very fussy and demanding baby, but after nursing him through two serious illnesses, we are all quite attached to him, and we want what is best for this boy.
Beni came to us two weeks ago. He was born weighing less than 5lb, after a difficult and protracted labour, that killed his mother. He developed watery diarrhoea this week and was becoming dehydrated. We received a shipment of pasteurized breast milk two days ago and Beni was started on donor milk within hours of its arrival at the orphanage. I am pleased to say that he seems to be recovering very well. Breast milk contains substances that improve digestion and strengthen the immune system. We are so pleased that Beni is getting better.
Our premature baby boy, Luc is also doing much, much better. He became seriously ill with gastroenteritis last month. He was not able to absorb even the most hypoallergenic formula that is on the market and, as a result, he became very emaciated. His mother has not come to visit in more than a week, so he is receiving the donor breast milk and is in competition with Beni, to see who can drink the most of this 'liquid gold'! Luc is gaining weight again. He is beautiful, bright and appears healthy. What a relief to see him thriving again!
Baby Mickerline (nick-named Kerline by her mother) had a hard start in life. She endured severe neglect and mistreatment at the hands of her father and step-mother and at three months old, weighed 4lb 6oz. We were not sure that she would live, but she gained a pound in her first week with us. Severe malnutrition and extreme stress have made her tiny body stiff. With loving care, an enriched baby formula and gentle physiotherapy, Kerline is beginning to trust us. Her stiff limbs are relaxing. She cries to be picked up and likes to be held close. I am becomming very attached to this little lady.
I am so glad that these babies found their way here, and that we can make a difference in their lives.
Posted by Susan Westwood at 06:19