As I approach my son’s birthday my heart is very conflicted. It should be a day of thanksgiving, I ought to look forward to the day my baby turns 1 but I have a lot of mixed emotions. I am so proud of Njiru, for the far he has come and for the way he makes us happy; for all the joy he has brought to our lives. I can never imagine life without my precious little miracle but at the same time I am filled with sadness. Remembering that I delivered 3 children on 19th January 2017. My baby girl and baby boy are already gone. They were too special for earth. Today I choose to talk about my first born son Mwaura Maigua Mwaura Jr. He arrived at 10.10am weighing 1.2 kg. He was the eldest and the biggest in weight. At that time we thought he had the best chances of survival compared to the others. Mwaura Jr lived with us for 76 days; when Njeri passed on the second day we were beyond ourselves with grief…. For the longest time I did not think it was true. I knew people who had lost children but I never thought it would happen to me . Even today having taken a few months off from writing this blog I am still overcome by emotion and my eyes fill with tears as I write.
When my daughter left the doctor who was hoping to get some milk from me decided to put my babies on a little formula and glucose to give me time to overcome the stress but I knew I had to pull myself together . I had the Cs wound which was super painful; For some reason none of the painkillers seemed to be working for me including the injections; I had just lost a baby and I had two precious boys in the NICU who really needed me. I decided to put all my attention on my two boys … I decided to pull myself together try and get some milk for them and most importantly have hope .They needed hope and faith from me . One of the things that really help babies in the Nicu is a positive attitude from their parents and faith in them …faith that they will fight and hope that they will leave the NICU.
I eventually got some milk for them and I tried to focus on them. It was very difficult walking through the NICU daily, several times a day and seeing the little children come in …Some who only stayed for a few hours and watching some graduating from NICU to the main nursery . I honestly feel like NICU nurses have seen a lot. The little babies do not look pretty, they are tiny, veins are visible and they look pale. Sometimes it’s hard to explain what they even look like…
Mwaura Jr lived with us for 76 days; these are days I hate to think about. Baby Njiru was doing well … he was steadily making his steps…. not to say he did not struggle but he seemed to be having an easier time. He was successfully removed from the ventilator with no issues …he moved on quickly to using oxygen and slowly went on from oxygen to just being a cartoon in the incubator. Making funny poses and being in a relaxed mood all the time. At some point he was the fattest in the NICU weighing 1350g …trust me in the NICU this is a big baby….
Mwaura Jr seemed to be having a harder time. All this time he kept developing complication after complication. His lungs were not strong and after some point we were introduced to a condition called the chronic lung Disease. My baby Mwaura Jr was resuscitated over 20 times … by the time all this was happening, he had obtained severe brain damage. Later, after a CT scan at around day 70, we came to realise he had also been born with a brain condition which needed urgent surgery. At this point due to his chronic lung disease, the neurosurgeon and other doctors advised that an surgery could not be done at the moment since his lungs were too weak to hold general anaesthesia. He had been on and off life support for too long …he was not growing … he kept being suctioned several times a day to clear the blockage in his lungs. Mwaura Jr rarely smiled, the few times he did it was just heavenly. I watched him cry a lot…..Struggling with the pipes ….fighting the many tubes and even fighting the doctors and the nurses. Mwaura Jr was a fighter .When Baby Njiru cries…. he reminds me a lot of Mwaura Jr …so I sometimes I just let him cry for a minute longer, maybe two minutes longer for me to see Mwaura Jr ; that his memory is not lost to me.
Waking up on 5th April morning I received a call that I had seen coming …I had expected the call for a while based on Mwaura Jrs’ condition but I could never be ready for it . It was a call asking me to go to hospital ,they could not tell me what was wrong on phone …they were not ethically allowed to …but I knew …I knew my baby had gone to be with the Lord .By now Njiru had come home… so I quickly dressed and started driving towards the hospital but I couldn’t . My mum called me and asked me to stop. My husband also asked me to park by the road side. The 5 minutes I waited seemed to be an eternity but eventually my husband arrived and we went to hospital.
My heart was broken; my baby’s incubator was covered with a white cloth; as we got into the NICU, all the nurses were hugging me and telling sorry. My baby was gone. My little fighter was gone. He had fought really long and tough fights. The only thing I regret was not being with him on his last day…. but I know we gave him our best. All I want is to celebrate the little champion ….he left a big mark in all our hearts….. Most importantly he taught us that sometimes it’s not about finishing first …it’s about giving the race your best.