Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sweet baby Gabriel

There is nothing sweeter than seeing a new life come into this world. And there is nothing more bitter than watching that same life slip away just hours later.
My patient pushed her 4kg (8lb 4oz) son into the world at 2:08am after a VERY difficult labor with intense back pain. It was her first baby and she was so excited to finally meet him. But within less than a minute of his birth it was clear that he was not yet breathing very well. He would sort of gasp, but that was it. So for the next 15-20 minutes we fought to get this baby to breath. We tried to stimulate him and we did PPV. We deep suctioned him, but he was still struggling. He was gasping, had nasal flaring and retractions. Within 40 minutes after he was born we transported him to the local hospital.
The next morning after hearing that Ian Dave was not doing so well we talked with the family about transporting him to Tugugarao (an hour and a half drive) since the hospital there has a NICU. They decided that they would transport if one of us could go with to help advocate for them. My friend Chel and I went with them.
When we got to the hospital I could tell that that little Ian Dave had only a slim chance. He was very pale and his fingernails were quite blue. But I prayed so hard that he would make it.
About 15 minutes into the drive the baby's auntie who was holding him asked if we could stop and check him because he didn't seem to be breathing. He took a couple gasps and then nothing. The nurse in the ambulance did not have a stethoscope with and I couldn't find a pulse, so I began doing chest compressions on his tiny body. His color would get better for a little bit, but then it he would become pale again. I continued doing chest compressions all the way to the hospital, praying the entire way.
When we got to the hospital the Dr. assessed him and couldn't locate a heartbeat at first. They continued doing chest compressions and finally were able to hear the heartbeat. They gave him an injection to help get his heart going, which seemed to help for a while, but soon the heartbeat would crash again. They tried to help Ian Dave. They tried hard. But in the end, Ian Dave went to be with Jesus.
My heart breaks for his mommy and daddy. I cannot even begin to imagine what they are going through. May came into the clinic at noon on Saturday, expecting to hold her baby soon, but instead she only got to hold his lifeless body 14 hours after he was born. I pray that God will comfort their breaking hearts, that He will wrap them close in His loving embrace. And that somehow, someway, healing comes. I pray that they always remember and honor their precious son, Ian Dave, but that the hurt they feel right now becomes less and less.
To Gabriel. A precious baby who was with us for such a short time, but that has left an impression on my heart and his family's hearts for all eternity.

*Names changed to protect the family.

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