Thursday, 20 January 2011
My three month old baby, Sonia, is sick, critically sick. Today, she was sicker than she has ever been. She was unstable, even on CPAP, and I feared for her life.
She is a sweet, alert, contented baby when she is well. When she is not, she fights and flails and roars angrily, until her puffy eyes bulge. Today, the battle for breath sent Sonia into combat mode. 'Sonia, enough!' I pleaded, from across the room, as a nurse tried to adjust the prongs in her nose. Hearing the command, Sonia stopped fighting, and turned, fixing her gaze on mine. What does that tone mean, Miss Susan, she seemed to ask? I think I better pay attention to you......
Pay attention she did, following me through a 120 degree angle, as I crossed the NICU floor. Oh my! 'Ladies,' I declared to the nurses and nannies, 'my girl is really bright!'
'She is not October's child!' Madame Bernard replied. 'October's children are not inteligent.'
'Pardon? What do you mean by that? October's child? Do Haitian's call all people born in October, dim?'
Monday's Child is fair of face,
Tuesday's Child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe.....
My heckles were up. Sonia probably has Down syndrome. I am determined that she will not be cast under any sterotype.
'No, Susan,' the nurse replied, patiently. 'I meant that babies born in October of last year aren't really doing anything intelligent, yet.'
'Sonia wants to hold her bottle,' Someone said. I nodded, beaming with pride. That's usually the work of a 5 month old, not a 3 month old!
As we talked, I was changing Sonia. Her arms were inside her sleep suit, so that she would not mess with her nasal prongs while I did that. Suddenly, thorough the arms holes, out pop both of Sonia's arms! At what age do babies learn that?
We all laughed! Sonia does this consistently. She can also remove mittens that are taped on to her!
'She is October's child' I told the nannies.
'With lots of spirt!' someone added.
At the end of this rough day, I am hearing Sonia's monitor alarming, even though it is not, and I know I will be hearing it in my sleep.
I love this little lady, who needs a passport and US medical visa, as a matter of absolute urgencys so that she can receive life-saving surgery and medical care that cannot be provided in Haiti.
In my heart, I feel confident that this will happen 'in time' for Sonia. I have an assurance, as inexplicable as it is absolute, that God has a plan for Sonia, that includes, life, hope and a future. I believe that her 'spirit' is God-breathed and that it will sustain her.
Posted by Susan Westwood at 18:05