Abigaelle might be small but she knows knows her rights; a bottle of warm milk, at least every three hours, nappy changes on demand, and a pair of arms to rock her. She is doing very well in her nursery. She came to us almost two weeks ago weighing just less than 3.5lb at two months of age. She is on a high calorie formula to promote 'catch-up growth.' She has a lot of catching-up to do, but we can see her plumping up day-by-day.
Kerline, was by far the loudest baby in the NICU tonight. She suffered 11 weeks of starvation before her Mother removed her from her Father's care and brought her to us. Although she still looks scrawny, she is gaining weight well and she has fed enormous volumes of formula over the past two days. I am sure that she is having growth spurt and I am excited to see her thriving in our care.
Junes is a month old and he was transferred here from Real Hope for Haiti on Friday. His mother is extremely ill, and had to be carried, by relatives, over a mountain range, to a clinic in Cazalle, which, is a rural area North of Port-au-Prince. He weighed 3lb 4 oz on arrival (fully clothed). He is in a incubator and feeding all by himself. Today was a tough day for this tiny boy. He had thrush on his tongue when he arrived. We began treating it right away, but his mouth is very sore today, and I spent a great deal of time drop feeding him with a 1 ml syringe because he would not drink from a bottle.
Then there was Peterson, sucking on his fists, hungry and agitated, but only whimpering. I called his mother to come in an breast-feed him. Peterson came on Friday, weighing 8lb 11 oz at 6 months of age. He was referred by an American Paediatrician in Carre-Four, who considered his malnutrition life-threatening. I am sure Peterson's condition shocking to someone who is not accustomed to working in Haiti, but for those of us at God's Littlest Angels, it isn't possible to experience shock at Peterson's size. He is bright, alert and well, and just needs good nutrition for a while.
This little boy has been raised on small amounts of breast milk and diluted full-cream milk. His 17 year old mother doesn't know anything about child-care. Emotionally, she is very young. She was very tearful the day she arrived, and upset about being away from home. Tonight, she announced that she would like to leave Peterson with Madame John, and take one of our pretty little baby girls home with her, because 'girls are better.' She was not joking, In terms of educating Peterson's Mother, we have our work cut out for us!