Gift lives. It was touch and go for weeks, but he came out of the ICU in early January and is doing his best to turn into the kind of baby you don't expect to die every minute. His surgical wound is nearly healed. He still needs oxygen, so we were able to get a cardiologist out to confirm the pressures in his pulmonary blood vessels are too high, and recommend a medication. He is mostly fed through his tube still, but starting to swallow from a syringe and even attempt the breast. His infection is gone. But the days and weeks stretch on and his mom is getting a bit discouraged. I try to remind her how far we've come. Would you please pray once again that Gift could go home? To do that he needs to be able to breathe without oxygen and feed without tubes. God has miraculously preserved his life . . I am reminded of Romans 8 . . how shall he not also, with him, graciously give us all things (v 32). Thanks.
All our incubators are full, and nursery is popping. Lots of stories, some as dramatic as Gift's, some simpler. Baby D arrived in a veritable bus-like ambulance from Western Kenya one night. I had agreed to accept a transfer of a premature baby with meningomyelocele, since this is the best place in Kenya for such a child to receive care. Only it turned out he was a twin, so both preemies were put in, and since they were coming, the threw in a bigger term baby with the vague diagnosis of "anomalies and distended stomach". This baby had a cleft lip and palate, problems that paled in comparison to his tense and grossly inflated abdomen, a big jaundiced balloon laced with distended veins. Since the original referral baby arrived dead, and we tried for some time to revive him, it was about half an hour before I could look at baby D. One look at him and I checked for an anus. Not there. Well, that explains a lot. No opening for his GI tract, so all that air and stool and secretions and food just kept blowing up. Our surgeon rushed him to the operating theatre, and he's a thousand percent better now and nearly ready to go home.
I love working in this nursery. Yes, it's HOT and crowded, and there are hourly ethical dilemmas, who to move when the next preemie arrives unannounced and all our incubators are full, how to share 7 monitors among 20 or 30 babies. Yes, it can be heartbreaking when we lose one. Last week we spent several days almost constantly at the bedside of a baby with very very very sick lungs, and then she died. But these are balanced by the preponderance of infants for whom we can offer life-saving assistance. Wednesday I stood by and watched and coached and cheered for six babies being born, all doing well, even the 3 pound one.
So pray for Gift and his mom Dorcas to have a happy ending too!