Below are obsessive pictures of my new found love. He's smaller than the past men I've loved, weighs significantly less, doesn't argue with me, and boy do I love him! This is baby Michelet. He is 3 weeks old, weighs 4lbs and was my baby for the past few weeks. His story is a mix of sadness, sweetness and hope. His mom is 22 years old and married to a 44 year old man. She is epileptic and had many episodes of seizures during her pregnancy. At 7 months gestation, she was required to have a C- section in order to protect the life of the baby inside of her. The result was itty bitty Michelet! I took care of baby Michelet before I even knew it. I frequently visit the NICU to feed and hold the babies there. Michelet was there shortly after birth. I have pictures of us together from his first few days. He is swaddled with me in my scrubs
Michelet really caught my attention when I found a little isolette in the hallway next to his mom's bed on Med-surg. When the beds fill up, patients are required to take a bed in the hallway. This is a common sight to see, but children and babies are never on this floor. After her many seizures, Michelet's mom had some mental repercussions. The first day I found them the mom was quite literally covered head to toe in her own feces. Not only this, her feces also were also smeared on her IV tubing and the rails of the bed. She was very weak and would not look anyone in the face. She could only mutter a few words. In Haiti the family members are responsible for cleaning up their loved ones. There was no family near her, so I gloved up and spent the next hour cleaning her, her bedding and sending the cleaning people to mop of the floor around her. After I had mom fixed up, I could fix my attention on the tiny baby in the isolette next to her.
Many visits to Michelet and mom were to follow. A Sister at the hospital stocked me up with baby formula, a bottle, miniature sized clothes, a baby blanket, and a baby hat and booties set. I set up a feeding schedule for him and kept a little notebook by his bed side to track the care I was giving him. My next strategy was to get some volunteers hooked on him, which was quite easy! Michelet became a heart-throb immediately, and I soon had various volunteers checking in on him throughout the day to hold him, feed him and change him. I made visits as often as I could- both day and night. The volunteers noted that he recognized my voice and knew me. I felt so special to have his love in return!
Over the days and weeks, I finally met more of Michelet's family and developed a great care for them. His dad worked during the day and would come at night to sleep in a chair next to mom and baby. I taught dad exactly how to mix the baby formula and would instruct him on what times to feed Michelet during the night. Dad would show up in the same over-sized and dirty clothes every day, but he always had a toothless smile that made me smile in return. One day he brought me a 10lb bag of fresh oranges that he had grown as a thank you for all I had provided his baby with. His gift was a big surprise to me and a sacrifice on his part. I reaped the benefits of fresh squeezed juice the next mornings :)
Mom, Dad, and baby Michelet
Michelet went home from the hospital a few days ago. Dad brought me by motorcycle to show me where they lived. He said he hopes I can continue to visit Michelet now and even on my future trips to Haiti so that Michelet can know me. I love this little baby boy so much. My arms ached when I passed my first day without seeing or holding him. His family is very poor and short on resources and I often think of Michelet and hope he is well fed and in a clean diaper. I fear that those expectations might be too high given his situation. One thing I have peace in is that I know his family loves him and I also know his family loves God. I visited him again in his house and was happy to see that dad had bought him a little mosquito net to sleep in so that he doesn't get bit. I hope to do home visits at least once a week. Also, I instructed dad to bring Michelet to the Children's Nutrition Center at our hospital every week to be weighed and given a new supply of baby formula. Below is a picture of Michelet's home. His grandma, aunts and uncles, cousins all live here as well as his mom and dad.
There is so much more to tell you all about, but I'll just give you a quick summary. I love the life I have been blessed here with in Haiti. I am thriving in my environment and learning so much from the doctors and nurses that come to volunteer. I deliver babies, sew up wounds, do CPR, and many other things that come my way. This past week there were some riots in the town of milot and some violence directed toward the hospital. As a result, I had to temporarily leave the hospital. I am now volunteering at Children of the Promise. It is an infant care center about 40 minutes from the hospital. I live with 60+ toddling babies under the age of 2. They are so sweet and I am kept busy as a nurse here! I will make it back to the hospital as soon as I can, which will hopefully be sometime next week. Love you all and thanks for reading my update :)