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.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

So Many Questions

I have so many questions. There aren't answers for any of them.

This morning, Wideline's blood pressure dropped. She went on to bleed internally. Blood poured from her mouth and nose, and she stopped breathing. I had been up until past mid-night, doing everything I thought might help. So much of  what I had done was painful for Wideline, but she still had a lot of fight in her body, and I felt I needed to respect that.

Now I believed enough was enough. I told the NICU staff I didn't believe that we could save this baby, and that I didn't want to prolong her suffering. They were not ready to let her go, so we resuscitated Wideline.

The morning passed in a bewildering flurry of activity. I remember pushing fluids and all kinds of drugs. I remember that I squeezed Wideline's heel, trying to get a blood sample for some tests I wanted to run. I remember wincing as Widelines skin slipped away under my grasp, leaving yet another fiery lesion, seeping straw coloured fluid. I remember sitting outside on the balcony, where Mme Bernard drew blood from me. I remember that we gave it to Wideline.I remember she looked better after she received that blood. The swelling in her face went down. I remember  dressing her wounds with Lisa, a Canadian nurse-volunteer. I remember starting CPAP, then leaving briefly to do some research. 

 By the end of it, Wideline was stabilising, but still, her kidneys were not working.

Oh, I have so many gruesome memories of this afternoon. Some things are best  not shared. And I have so many questions. Why was our best effort not enough? Why not? Why do I have to write yet again, and tell the people who have been praying, that in the end, all I could do was hold her? I watched a tiny baby put up an astonishing fight. Why God, could you not have taken Wideline gently, weeks ago? What was this all for? 

And there are no answers. There is exhaustion, and there is grief. For some reason I can't explain, there is also a waring spirit; the will to press on, and a sense of urgent expectation.

I am waiting for my next baby.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Warfare. It was the one thing on my mind as I paced the airport in PAP. Oh Susan.

I'm not going to offer empty platitudes...except that He won't waste this. I promise He won't waste it. I hate that that just sounded like a platitude.

Fighting with you, even though we're ridiculously far away. I'm so sorry. Sweet Wideline.