Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Holding the baby

When I reflected today on what I have done, I thought my morning had been not too good.
In the afternoon, I went to a meeting. I knew I had to leave the meeting early because parents of patients wanted to see me. That is when it started to get a bit better.

I was talking to the parents of a 5 days old child. The child had major, major problems. Lungs intestines, brain... The baby had been on a ventilator (breathing machine) all his life and had undergone one operation already. The prognosis is not good. After sharing all the bad news the mother looked so sad. The father was sad. I was sad. Three sad people in a room.

I asked for help from above. It occurred to me that the mother had never held the baby. When I asked her if she would want to hold the baby, of course there was a resounding yes. I thought the baby was not stable and it would be best to plan it for tomorrow, but then tomorrow may never come for the baby. We managed to arrange something and with all tubings and monitors the mom had at least some moments of intimate closeness to her baby. The sadness was still there but it seemed to have become a bit more bearable.

She even forced a smile when she thanked us.

I share this experience here.
If things look sad and bad, there are often small things that can be done to make it a bit more bearable. These small things do not take away the pain but the difference they make can confer a certain peace of mind which is the foundation of bliss.

My day had been not too bad after all.

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