January 3, 2011
I read this experience of a father in a book. He was sitting with his sick boy in his lap, caressing him, when he saw a book lying near by. He took the book with his free hand and started reading it while still caressing the boy. After a few minutes, the boy opened his eyes and said, “Father, please don’t read.”
Kids always want our complete attention. I was sitting with my baby in my arms, planning to use the free hand on my laptop. I opened the lap top and she started growling. I started typing a mail and her growling became more frequent and louder. I took my hand away from the keys and then she stopped. I wonder how she understands what my hands are doing.
The one month hospital stay was really an unforgettable one. So many babies with so many complications! Mothers patiently waiting for the apple of their eye to recover and get growing. I saw a mom, S, staying at the hospital. She had a pre-term delivery and the baby, about 1.5 Kg, is in the NICU. Her hubby is abroad. She has a elder daughter, 3 years old, staying with her grandmum. S is staying in the hospital alone. Every two hours, she squeezes milk from her breast into a feeding bottle, goes to the NICU and feeds the baby. She puts a cotton piece inside the nipple of the bottle so that the milk comes out only in drops for the baby to drink. It takes some time to complete the feeding process. I saw her feeding the baby. I still feel my heart weeping when those thoughts come to me. Hospitals are really boring even if you are staying there for full body spa. Then how can a mum with her baby in the NICU stay there alone for one (or more?) month? That too with nobody to talk to, no one near her to console her. Her days would have been long, and nights longer.
There were other mothers too with such difficulties. Moms of babies born with heart diseases, babies whose respiratory and digestive systems are not functioning well, new born babies with major illness like jaundice, measles, flu etc. Babies who had some operations and then they got infected. May God cure all those babies and give them a healthy life. I don’t have words to describe the feeling I had when I looked into the eyes of these mothers. Everyone eagerly waiting for their baby to get stronger. Standing in queue for their turn to feed the baby with the squeezed out breast-milk in their hand. Everyone in prayers for their kids. Are they enjoying motherhood? I was also one of them for a few hours.