Regret is only productive, if it is felt by someone with a capacity to learn, and I am a learner. I think that is why my heart longed for another baby - not one to fill the hole Wideline had left. No, I was waiting for another baby, who might benefit from the things I wish I had known last week. Little did I know, that baby was already with me...........
Malozie is a month and a half old. She arrived yesterday amidst the chaos that surrounded Wideline's final hours. I only had a chance to glance at her.
The NICU was quiet. this morning. My attention was on our new baby. 'She's a little bit pale,' I commented. 'Scrawny too.'
'Her Mother has mental health problems, Susan. And her father is deaf. She didn't get very good care. She has been spoon fed porridge.....She is awful demanding,' Mme Bernard, told me, raising her eyes just slightly. 'I don't think she has been mothered. I think that's what she needs, to be mothered.' As she said this, the head Haitian nurse took the baby's tiny hand in hers. It was a gesture of loving affection. I was able to appreciate it only for a moment.
'No!' I exclaimed.
Mme Bernard registered the problem, the instant I did.'She's a little puffy.'
'No! I can't to this again!' I knew the chances of a 6 week old baby beating protein-energy malnutrition were slim. Too slim.
Mme, Bernard nodded patiently. 'Susan, you don't have a choice.'
On the grand scale of things, her chances of survival are extremely poor. Based on our recent experience though, there is reason to be hopeful. Maozi is the 4th very young infant (3 months old and younger) that we have admitted to GLA in the past year with protein-energy malnutrition. Two of the babies before her survived. One died. It is my prayer, that I will be able to count sweet Malozie among the babies that lived.
This tiny girl is very uncomfortable today from the pressure of the fluid that has built up under her skin. I have spent lots of time holding her and rocking her. This is the only thing that soothes Malozie. I was glad to be able to cradle her in my arms. As glad as I am to have her under my gaze and under my wing.