I was freezing. I was all wrapped up, but still I was just so cold!
Back up. We weren’t in Chad. We were on our vacation in America this past year and had gone to see Zoo Lights. Gamma, Olen and I and all 4 kids had trekked out among the huge throngs to see the amazing Christmas lights at the National Zoo.
We had a nice baby snow outfit that Juniper was wrapped in. She was warm, but still people felt the need to give condescending looks that we brought our baby out here in the cold. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the time out watching the brightly colored lights.
One problem. Juniper was hungry and screaming. I lagged back in the crowd and told Olen I’d call him after I was done feeding the little girl. I found a spot on the rock wall and put the one blanket over the girl so she could breastfeed.
One problem. I didn’t have my phone. And Olen didn’t see where I had sat down.
It was cold. I was cold (Juniper was NOT cold). I was feeling lost from my family. I waited a long time on that rock wall hoping Olen would come back and find where I was seated.
I stopped a few people to borrow their phone, but I couldn’t remember Olen’s phone number.
I must have looked pretty pathetic with a baby out in the cold because one lady I stopped insisted that I take her wool shawl. (I may have been crying a little too because I was frustrated and hate being “lost.”). I must say that that red and black wool shawl did make my shoulders feel a little less numb from the cold.
…..she just said to pay it forward some day.
This little baby was freezing. She was all wrapped up, but still she was just so cold!
She was born too early. She was 1.2 Kg (about 2 pounds) when she was born. Little babies born this early just don’t have enough fat and thermoregulations to keep them warm. They simply die of cold. Even when it’s hot outside sometimes, they die of being cold.
….so I payed it forward.
I took the same red and black wool shawl given to me by that sweet lady in the freezing cold in America and wrapped up this tiny bundle of joy.
We were given a wonderful incubator this year from AMALF (an adventist french organization) that came on a container. Thank you AMALF! (along with many other good things!) But, like a lot of things in Chad, they lack maintenance, and I am incapable to get the thing working again! It worked for a week and was great during that time.
So for now, it’s back to our old method of keeping babies warm. Kangaroo style baby and mommy time. Warm water bottles. Warm hats and blankets.
Our precious tiny baby girl was hospitalized for several weeks. I kept her on prophylactic IV antibiotics given through the tiniest of veins.
We gave her mommy’s milk with a syringe in her mouth as she sucked on our finger.
She eventually got strong enough to suck directly from her mommy.
And everyday I would see her wrapped in that beautiful red and black wool blanket. She was getting bigger and stronger.
Today I discharged her (actually it was last week that I wrote this blog). She’s still so small and fragile, but was doing well enough with her mommy that we weren’t offering anything more by keeping her here.
I will never forget that woman and her friend who were kind enough to let me use their phone on that cold night last year. And then forced me to take their shawl too. It was not just that it kept me warm. It touched my heart too.
You don’t have to be a missionary across the world like us, you can help those in need in a crowded first world city too.
Somehow though, it’s more fun to pay it forward here in Chad.