My second child was born prematurely. My water broke at 32 weeks and by the time we rushed to the hospital; I had flooded the house and the car. And later the doctor’s examining table. Within half an hour my tummy looked flat! I cannot even begin to explain how sacred I was. I remember myself praying all along that the little one was safe. The doctor told us how the baby’s lungs wouldn't be properly developed at 32 weeks but there was nothing we could do but opt for the little one to be delivered.
The baby was delivered safely, but he developed bronco pneumonia soon after. I had just been able to have one look at the baby’s face; I had not even held him close, when they shifted him to the NICU. A day later I was allowed to walk to the NICU and see my little one. There he was….with his little feet connected to some machine and a drip set running out his tiny hand, an oxygen mask on his nose. The little chap was obviously irritated and kept shuffling. Every time he moved, the drip set would slide off and the nurse would search for a new place to prick on the tiny hand. It pained to see him go through all this. They finally bound his hands and legs with tape and secured it to his bed. That way he couldn't move at all.
I didn't have to stay in the hospital for long and after 10 days, I was asked to come to the NICU every 3 hours to feed the child. We had to wait for our turn outside the NICU and the nurses would let in mothers in batches of three or four. Every time I saw him through the glass wall of the NICU bed, he would become restless and wait for me to pick him up. It was daunting to pick him up, the drip and wires made it so difficult. I didn't want to accidentally disturb something and end up hurting the baby.
Every day, there would be new admissions and discharges, and we prayed that we could take our little one home soon. One day as we waited outside the NICU for my turn, the nurse brought out a little bundle and held it while the child’s parents signed some papers for discharge. I couldn't help but observe how milky white the child’s face looked. I thought maybe it had taken after its mother who looked quite fair too. And then as the mother took the child into her arms, she began to cry. It took me a while to realize that her child wasn't moving. And then the doctors came out, patting her shoulder, while her husband held her, trying not to cry. I couldn't even begin to fathom what grief the mother might being going through, holding her dead child in her arms.
I shook uncontrollable as my husband tried to steady me. The fear for my own child’s well being had suddenly multiplied manifold. When I was finally called in, and held my little one in my arms, I whispered a prayer in to his ears and told him how much I loved him. I held him close and the nurse had to snatch him away from me after I refused to hand back my child to her. I didn't want to leave him in the hospital any more. After what seemed like eternity, he was finally well enough to be sent home with us.
|that's my rockstar!|
By God’s grace he is doing well now. He is 3 years old now, but even after all these years I am unable to get the picture of the baby and its mother out of my mind. At the same time, I am happy God gave me enough strength to survive those stress filled moments of my life.