27th June 2018, 08:00am. Amidst the heavy traffic, I managed to get to work early today to start reviews. My current rotation has granted me the opportunity to work with critical preterm babies.
A preterm, unfortunately, is born more than three weeks before its estimated due date. It is important to keep such babies in an optimal state to prevent numerous complications that could befall them – A recognized one. Apnea of Prematurity
Mothers, oblivious of these conditions, become impatient and call for an early discharge from the hospital. With elucidation, they get to discern the importance of keeping their babies in incubators, dispensing their lungs with oxygen and nurturing them adequately before they leave the hospital. Mothers are happy, We are happy!
Reaching the ward, I started my reviews of the babies; ensuring they had their medications, monitoring their temperature, in addition to their feeding pattern and attending to any pending issues distressing the mother or the baby.
After inserting the yellow cannula into the first baby’s antecubital vein, the adjacent monitor started to beep. I was enlightened beforehand not to turn a deaf ear to any noise a monitor made, regardless of its pitch.
The AMBU bag lying in the babies incubator drew my attention to the possibility that, the baby had been resuscitated a couple of times in the night. The monitor read 32% and jumped to 26%. In the next second. I found myself resuscitating this baby with the AMBU bag in my hand.
Handclaspping the ambu bag in different motions of contraction and expansion, the baby’s chest rose and fell to this intense flux of air, waving the oxygen saturation to rise in concord. It took me a minute before I realized the environment I was in.
After bagging for an hour, the SP02 read 100%, but, the baby was not breathing; her chest was not rising. I restarted the monitor a couple of times, but the display had the same reading everytime. Could I trust this monitor? I continued bagging when I remembered the words of my lecturer “YOU are the best monitor!” I continued to impale her chest with oxygen from the bag, when I noticed the pulsation on her chest had become faster and stronger. “The best determinant of sucess of oxygen delivery was an increase in heart rate” My fingers recoiled for joy when the baby resumed spontaneous breathing strenously.
I had the opportunity to glance through the baby’s folder. Obviously the baby was at the Intensive Care Unit on account being born before her time. She had an extremely low birth weight of 0.9kg, that it made her look fragile.
On admission, she had suffered multiple episodes of seizures. We played with an initial diagnosis of Meningitis, but revised the diagnosis, when the electrolytes popped up deranged. Sodium was skyrocketing high! Hypernatremia. The CSF results turned out normal surprisingly.
The objective way I could confirm multiple episodes of resuscitation conducted for this baby was to read the nurses notes; handwritten in red. “Baby was seen desaturating at 8:35pm on intranasal oxygen. Bagging started for an hour. Spontaneous respiration resumed but weak.” This had been written three times, making reading monotonous, but it had happened. The baby had been bagged.
I had tons of babies to review but this one had captured my attention. She reminded me of the Biblical narration that moved the Good Shepherd into action to neglect the ninety- nine sheep just to save the life of that one priceless sheep in the wilderness.
With this in thought, I continued bagging, and praying God would save the life of this young lad. I felt despondent when the mother checked in, in tears and asked if everything would be fine. A question which I had no answer to.
Surprisingly,there was no chest movement, but audibly, air entry into her chest was adequate. Something was propelling this baby to strive, vive and live. A couple of people came around and asked me to stop because babies bagged for long hardly survived. But I was the firm certainty this one would make it. I didn’t know how.
I gave up after a couple of minutes and washed my hands; throwing in the towel but my conscience probed me to continue fighting for this baby. So I continued bagging, for another one hour.
Then It hit me! Why don’t I stop everything and commit the fate of this baby into the arms of His loving care. I couldn’t bag for 24 hours. He had already decided the fate of this baby irrespective of hard and insistent I was. Removing my gloves and leaving the area was a painful decision, but then I had to let God do His work. It demanded I closed my eyes before I could see through His eyes.
I said a word of prayer for her soul and left the rest of the care to God. I was because He is.
I was so hopeful to come to meet this baby in the full health the next day, so then I knew He was God.
So then, I left home very early the next day, just to see this baby in a better state; the classic miracle I was expectant of.
As I entered the room, the first thing I noticed was the white bed linen. Initially, I thought I was in the tombstone of Jesus Christ. The white empty duvet stared at my face with a sinister smile of victory.
I knew this baby had kicked the bucket, but I had to confirm that from the attending nurse, just to be sure. It had lunged to that moment, bagging the child could not save the baby any longer in the afternoon. Tired Lung Syndrome? Please don’t try looking it up.
I continued with the rest of the reviews knowing this baby’s life was safe in the hands of its Maker.
We as Christians always want things to go our way. We begin to pant in desperation and rant in defiance when we recognize the wiff of disappointment and the air of disheartenment breezing. It’s easy to accuse God when life goes wrong. He can do anything, stop anything and change anything. But sometimes He doesn’t.
This world is full of death, disease and sin. Bad things happen to good people—even exemplary Christian people. But…
God never promised we would get what we crave for, that our days would be plain sailing, just because we chose to follow Him.
That is where disappointment sets in, hitting the hardest when we becloud what we think God owes us, with what He has actually assured us of. A life full of hope!
He said we should give thanks. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus”
No matter the phase of life you are going through, Hold on! When it seems your prayers are falling on deaf ears, Hold on! When it seems there’s nothing to Hold on to, Hang in. He said we should give thanks and in His time, He would manifest Himself.
I would like to end with this
Have a lovely weekend!