Friday, January 13, 2012


I don't often spend a lot of time on our OB ward.  Steph has mostly handled the care of our moms and babies since she arrived here 3 yrs ago.  Steph is now home on home assignment, so the rest of us are taking up the slack looking after the OB ward.  

Our nursery isn't much more a few bassinets and warming lights for babies, but not much else.  In the US, the nursery is for pretty healthy babies, whose mom's had a C/S and are resting, or for getting a bath and checking a blood test.  The nursery is for babies who are born on time and whose birth weight is not low.  Babies who are born premature, are of low birth weight and require lots of care would most likely be in the neonatal ICU.  

We don't have a neonatal ICU, but we have lots of sick babies who we care for.  Our nursery is really often an ICU because of the babies that we care for in it, not because of the equipment we have.  We have babies who are 1500 grams or about 3lbs who we watch increase by 25-50 grams a day in their weight until the get up to 2000 grams and then we let them go outside with moms to the ward.  We have babies who aren't able to drink breastmilk so they get fed through a tube in their nose.  We have babies who have gotten an infection when they were inside mom and who are struggling to breathe and so they are on oxygen and antibiotics.  

In our nursery, you won’t find any babies intubated, on a CPAP machine, with covers over their eyes, under bili lights, or even by themselves in a bassinet.  Instead you find little tiny babies all wrapped up in blankets, with tubes in their noses to breathe and fee, maybe with an IV going in, who grow slowly day by day.  Without high tech equipment, we are usually able to get these babies big enough to go home, but often it takes weeks or more to do so.  

I am amazed at the resilience of these little babies.  They do amazingly well with the little we have to offer. I think it goes to show that God knew what He was doing when he created us.