Not the actual case. (photo credit: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/geriatric-mothers-mess-with-nature/story-e6freomx-1226036882039)
I hope you will enjoy this one…
She was 44 years old, no boyfriend since birth, working as a domestic helper in a nearby territory. She met someone online whom she had a constant communication through SMS thereafter. (Coincidentally, this guy is a namesake of a famous English explorer who met a native American woman, who sang about a sycamore tree; both of them didn’t know those personalities until I pointed it out at the time of their baby’s birth). She was a jolly person, amiable and full of positivity; she even recounted their first meeting to us. Call us funny but we, all those listening to her, were so giddy while she was sharing the story. (Both are from an ethnic tribe where cariño isn’t common). When she came home from abroad, he promised to meet her. At first, he was too shy to show up but he was there. He must have summoned all the powers of the universe before he could have the strength to move his foot and go near her. So shy was he, he introduced himself, followed by… “there’s a box of mango I brought for you.” His nerves might have taken his entirety… and we who were listening couldn’t stop laughing. Yes, that was their first meeting.
Soon, they got married and she got pregnant. Everyone around her discouraged her because she was already old enough to menopause… but that didn’t dismay her. Alas, she had gestational hypertension (hypertensive disorder that only occurs for the first time when pregnancy is 20 weeks and beyond). She was religious as far as her prenatal visits but at 30 weeks gestational age, no amount of medications afforded control hence an immediate cesarean delivery was indicated.
I was not the initial admitting pediatrician of a baby, she was initially under the care of the consultant on duty as they were admitted charity case. But baby was referred to me minutes within birth to co-manage. The baby was small for her age at 1.00 kg. Luckily, she didn’t have other problems, especially with her breathing. All she needed was incubator, low flow oxygen, tube feeding and intravenous fluid.
When baby didn’t need intravenous fluids anymore, I gave instructions for the mother to do Kangaroo care. Kangaroo mother care is a procedure where baby is naked except his nappies, placed on the mother’s (or father’s) bare chest for as long as they want.
Not the actual patient. (Photo credit: http://www.drmomma.org/2011/03/kangaroo-mother-care.html)
My baby’s mother was so diligent doing this that even at night and wee hours in the morning when she’s supposed to rest, she’d spend time with her baby. (All babies usually lose weight and given the ideal care, will recover their birth weight by the end of two weeks from birth; on a daily basis, babies inside the womb gains 15-20 grams/kg per day). By the mother’s industry or maybe a miracle, her baby weighed 1.5 kgs at her 30th day from birth (that was faster than expected). I know it’s not ideal but with that promising velocity of weight gain, and her baby already able to consume her milk by herself without the help of tubes, able to nurse from the mother without breathing difficulty, I brought her out of the incubator. Three days more outside the incubator, the baby still kept gaining weight, no problem with temperature regulation, I discharged the baby. I know how caring this mother is, I am confident that even if her baby is premature, she will be able to take care of her very well. I sent them home with a happy heart, even if, she was a pro bono case. All screening tests done were all negative, and by those parameters, she seem to be doing well. The immeasurable joy of the parents has paid off our sacrifices for the baby.