"If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
-David Livingstone

December 29, 2010

Baby # 1 and Baby # 2

I was right in the midst of my delectable rice supper last night when Thara Ehgnyaw came breezing in the door and proceeded to tell me that there was a family who had a child they couldn't care for and would like for us to care for. Could we take it? My immediate response was, "Yes!" before calling him back to add, "Uh, well...I guess I really should ask Emily." To my surprise (considering the burden she already carries with our five) she also had an almost instantaneous positive response. Before we knew it our perspective child was actually one-month-old twin boys. *gulp*
Were they healthy?
Did they have both parents?
Yes, but the mother didn't have milk for them.
An hour later found me in a villager's truck (our's currently being broken down and at the mechanic's shop in Maesot) and headed toward the mountain village where the family lives.
Now generally mother's have nine months or so notice to the impending arrival of their baby. It's a weird feeling to have had about an hour more or less to assimilate this news and to be sitting there still trying to grasp the complete significance of what's really happening here, but yet completely aware that your life will never be quite the same again. Scared to death and yet so thrilled...
Grasping for more information - any information - I questioned again as to if the babies were healthy. "Yes, they are." That's all I was getting. More probing, "Are they thin?" Again, "Yes."
That was it.
In my mind's eye I saw two cuddly and cooing little bundles.
But what was that?
As we approached through the dim light of our flashlights I saw a woman standing at the bottom of the bamboo ladder leading up to the small hut with a small roll in her arms. A baby? No, it couldn't be. But...that looked like a head, if a ridiculously minature one.
My heart sank. Nothing had prepared me for this. The babies were obviously in bad shape. It was all I could do to sit still, smile pleasantly, and listen politely to the chatter around me when all I wanted to do was grab up the little things and run as fast as I could away from here and to a place where we could give them a chance at life. At my astonished inquiry as to their real age I was firmly assured that they were indeed one-month-old. {I later learned that they were born at the family's hut 2 months prematurely.} Never had I encountered anything like this before.
How can I even describe... The best comparison I could think of would be to a little naked baby bird. They're skin was draped pitifully in loose, dry folds over their so minature little frames. Obviously dehydrated as well as malnourished.
Mercifully, we did leave shortly. I felt so bad for Emily and Jason who were waiting expectantly at the house, with even less warning than I had had. There is really no way you can view a pitiful little thing like that without some level of shock.
At the family's hut in the candlelight I'd gotten a quick preview of what lay beneath the material they were wrapped in, just enough to know it was bad, but nothing had prepared me to uncover one of them and discover the most awful hole in his back, a pressure sore from neglect. It didn't take us long to decide that they needed to be in the ER as quickly as possible. So we rushed off in Bradley's truck, Tharamoo Gayle with one baby and me with the other.
At the hospital they insisted that they needed to have a mother's name for them and as I didn't know the mother's name the doctor asked if they could put me down as the mother. So the little things are currently labled "Maria's baby 1" and "Maria's baby 2."
As expected, they were admitted. I heard from one doctor that their stay may be over a week and from another that it could be four weeks.
Today they weighed in at 3.2 lbs. Just this afternoon they put them in incubators in the nurse's station, leaving me feeling truly helpless. One of them isn't sucking like the other one and has a feeding tube in. It's so hard to just have to stand there and watch it all.
They're truly a miracle right now and I'm believing that they'll be a miracle next week!
They're so precious! I'll do my best to have pictures on soon.

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