It Gets Better

So my first week back in Haiti is drawing to a close, and it has been an interesting week! It has been neat to see certain goals which have come to fruition, such as realizing that the nurses now wash their hands and encourage parents to keep the patient rooms sanitary. There are even signs hanging in the “NICU” instructing parents not to use their chamber pots in the NICU! (Can you imagine if people tried to do that in the US??)

Kidss are getting vital signs recorded three times a day, daily weights are such a routine thing that a nurse asked me today why I had weighed a baby (I’d missed where they’d written that day’s weight), and though we had run out of a lot of medications over the holiday, it seems we’ve restocked almost everything by today.

Most of the parents in the baby rooms are breast feeding their kids, and I find I’ve gotten a bit more relaxed about my approach to those who are formula feeding. (Haitians have a very casual relationship with time and the counting of things, which makes the American way of “Feed your (NICU) baby 17mL every 3 hours” an exercise in futility. Dr. Johnson would have a cow.) My new approach is less focused on quantifying exact amounts of feedings, and instead takes a more qualitative approach – you say you’re giving your baby 3 syringes of milk each time you’re feeding her? Great – let’s try four syringes each time! The next day we’ll aim for 5. My end point will be when the baby is gaining good weight, not when we’ve hit the magic number of milliliters per kilo per day that we’re trained to aim for.

I’m jotting down just a few of these positives now, during the first week, when I can appreciate how it used to be versus how it is now, so that on tough days – like today – I can reflect back and remind myself that yes – things really are getting better.

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1 Comment

  1. Mom

     /  January 11, 2013

    What encouraging words! Hope that today is a great day & that you will have a chance to relax a little this weekend!

    Reply

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