Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nomile, day two

I went to the hospital a little after 5:00 PM to see Nomile.  Unfortunately my day was full and I couldn't get there before then.  As I was walking into the hospital two of the mom's of other children on the malnutrition unit stopped me and told me that Nomile was doing good.  When I got to the ward, she was laying in bed with the teddy bear I bought her on her chest.  One of her hands was on it, but she wasn't holding it.  I picked her up and gave her a hug.  She didn't respond, but she didn't pull away either.  Then a few minutes later the nurses' aide came in to give her the special formula to drink.  I sat her back on her bed.  The aide tried to give it to her but she turned away.  I waited a minute or two and then picked her up and sat in a chair.  The aide saw that she came to me and gave me the cup.  I held it up to Nomile and she drank it right down.  She even helped hold the cup! 

I held her for about 2 hours.  She never made a sound and she would sneak peaks at people or me but wouldn't look directly at us.  For the most part, she stayed in what ever position I put her in.  I rocked her and hummed or sang softly to her, talked to her.  Sometimes I would be talking to a couple of other babies in cribs next to her but I kept holding her and rubbing her bony little back.   A few times she relaxed into my chest or leaned her head over to rest on me.  I'm taking that as a sign that she felt safe.  I could just feel her soaking up my being.  It was like we were one, even though she wasn't holding on to me.

The moms of the babies all talk and interact with the different babies in the room.  If one is crying and the mom is gone, the others try to help out.  I could tell that they were laughing and talking about me, but of course I don't understand enough SiSwati to understand.  Finally a mom asked me if I spoke SiSwati and I said no.  They were surprised.  Pretty soon the two moms that speak some English started asking me questions like where I live where I am from, if I have a husband, if I have kids, etc.  When they found out I am from the US, then the questions changed to things such as will you take me to America; will you get me a job?; etc."  They seemed surprised that I was making faces and baby sounds to a couple of the little ones so one finally asked me if I like kids.  I told them yes and that seemed to amaze them for some reason.

About 7:00 the aide came in again and handed me another cup of formula.  Nomile drank it right down.  I praised God and Nomile.  Then I sat her in her bed, put the teddy bear back in her arms, pulled up the side of the crib, said bye-bye and left.  She didn't react or make a sound.  She will one day.  I just know she will.

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