Thursday, June 23, 2016

baby #4

Ciarha. 6 months old. Arrived April 30th. Admitted into the hospital on May 1. And thus starts our journey. You came half alive. Severely malnourished. Diagnosed with a disease called Kwashiorkor. A protein deficiency causing your small 8 pound body to swell. I thought you were mute. Really, you just didn’t have the strength of a voice. You couldn’t open your eyes fully. You had a voodoo neckless tied around your neck. The same day you arrived, I rushed you to the hospital where you were given a bag of IV fluids. Fluids that I had to go and buy, including the needles and tubes. Because the hospital didn’t provide them. She was Cuban, your first of many doctors. She kept praying and praying to God. And shaking her head in utter disbelief. The next day you were admitted into a hospital 1.5 hours away. For the next 17 days. After filling out piles of paperwork stating that I was the only guardian, that I was the caregiver, and if anything were to go downhill, I was in charge of making arrangements. For your funeral. You were in intensive care for a few days before being moved into a room with 25 other cribs that contained malnourished babies. I came to see you every chance I had. I kissed your sweet head. I prayed over your frail body. And I begged to God to please not take my baby girl.
A motherly instinct rushed over me the second you walked into my home. I called you mine. And I loved you. I still do. Now, you are home. Your voice is still weak and raspy, but you can roll over. And you can sit up. And you can smile. But you still are sick. You’ve received new medication several times while we try to find something to fight the infection. 3 times a day, a few different doses each time, you receive medicine. You are very smart. You are very strong. You are very brave. The worst feeling in the world is wondering if your child is going to make it. Or if it is too late. If the blood transfusion is the key to a healthier body. The nurse called me and said you needed blood. I had been through that process before with a child in the village. So I took my cooler, filled it with ice, and went to ask for blood. After 6 hours of waiting, I put the bag of blood in my cooler and rushed across town to deliver it to your nurse. You, Ciarha, are a living miracle. I continue to worry about you. I have nightmares that you are dying. Every move you make I’m worried. Every tear that runs down your cheek crushes me. You’ve gone through so much in your 6 months of life. I thank God every day for my miracle baby. You and I will continue to work together and stick together and be strong together. You showed me what strength was. You’ve showed me how to cope. You renewed my faith."It is God who arms me with strength. He enables me to stand on the heights. 2 Samuel 22 "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10