Recently I was staying at friend’s house in Kigali. It was 10 pm, we were just about to start turning in, when she got a phone call.
Baby Nathan was having trouble breathing.
So I jumped in her car with her, and we picked up Amiss, Marieth, and baby Nathan. As they got in, I could hear that he was still sucking some air in, but it was laboured, and it obviously wasn’t anything like enough.
Nathan has trouble getting air sometimes, especially when he becomes stressed, but the addition of a cold made it so much worse.
So we sped off to the hospital, where they put him on oxygen. As the doctor were talking with his parents, he started to get upset and cry again. Even though his mama had her hands on him so he would know he isn’t alone, he likes to have someone close to his face, talking to him. So I went around and did that, while his parents talked with the doctor. He calmed right down.
Later, they were taking some blood. So I went around and talked to him again, but it didn’t calm him down. I almost stopped then, but then I realized – even if its not stopping his distress, it might help somehow for him to know he isn’t alone.
I was thankful to be able to be there with them at this moment. I was so thankful that Nathan was able to get a treatment that helped.
After a few tests, they sent us home, and over a week or so he recovered from his cold.
I realized that I could empathize with this baby: I have been in so much pain – and all the things that go with it – loneliness, bewilderment, confusion, trying desperately to just do basic things to survive. But knowing that I haven’t been alone has made all the difference.