Sunday, 17 November 2013

No Baby Born to Die

It was a Sunday.

The unit felt like a knife had cut its heart. Everyone was busy. We had been there 7 weeks. I was a pro by then.

The nurses had no time to spare, with three babies in ICU which never happened, 4 babies in HDU and the nursery nearly full.

I knew where things were kept, teats, bottles, expressing kits, sheets. I helped parents and the nurses. Then I saw him. He was registrar he didn't normally work on our unit. He had sweat on his brow.

"Do you need some water?" I asked? "Oh please", he said. I took him the water. He drank it, I took the cup. I hesitated. "Do you need a hug?" He looked at me and said "yes" I hugged him. He thanked me and walked back in. I knew what was happening.

One critical baby, one on the edge of stability and one crashing. The baby was on a resuscitaire, the machines were making loud noises, he was ringing asking for help. The senior consultant came and tried to help. I left the unit for some air.

I came back and a couple were down with a midwife. She shouted at me "I can't let you in I don't know who you are, you will have to wait." I was a bit annoyed as she treated me for a week, but hey ho, I let it slide and waited. I knew. That family were being led in to say goodbye.

Eventually I was let in. I watched them put the shades down. A kind midwife who knew me well came and put her hand on my knee as I fed Joseph. "There's a baby next door who isn't going to make it".

I heard wails as the beeping stopped.

My heart stopped. In that moment I felt guilt, fear, sadness, and selfishness.

That day I found out that one baby was a twin, whose twin had died. Another baby was due to be admitted but was born still, and this one, born on the cusp who went to the other side.

I held Joseph tight.

I whispered to him "we have to do something, if we get through this I will do something".

And I try.

To do something.

Because every baby should be born. And every baby should live.

Every baby.


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