The Story of Baby Girl

The tiny, delicate chest moved up and down to the rhythm of the oxygen being pumped into its premature lungs.  No, not just the chest;  even the abdomen rose and fell as we helped this new life struggle to stay alive.  She was a fighter, not willing to give up to death lurking very close to her feeble body.

d0101Baby Girl was born prematurely at 22 weeks in June 2004.  I was an intern at the Department of Pediatrics in a public hospital, where there were 38 premature infants, who needed intensive care, and only 20 incubators to help them survive.  She was rushed in from the emergency room at 6 pm, accompanied by her anxious grandmother.

The resident doctor on duty rushed to examine the newly arrived baby, and looked at me.  She need not utter the words to me, for I had been with her long enough to understand what had she wanted to say:  this baby is not going to make it.

There wasn’t a spare incubator for this baby and the family couldn’t afford one at a private hospital.  So we gently laid this fragile life in a cot and turned on a lamp close to her body to give her heat.  We took her vitals.   Blood tests and a chest x-ray were taken, as she endured it all silently.

She remained quiet as we placed a tube down her delicate throat.  It was through this tube that oxygen was being delivered into her lungs.  The doctor gave her an artificial surfactant, a crucial substance that keeps the tiny air sacs in the lungs open.  Her own lungs had barely started to produce surfactant, when she had been forced to leave the comforts of her mother’s womb.  A device on her finger showed us the oxygen concentration in her blood – it was very low.  Her grandmother looked in with tears in her eyes, though she fought hard to conceal them from Baby Girl.

“We’re at the hospital,” Baby Girl’s grandmother said, answering a phone call, “Come here as soon as you can.”

“That was my husband.  He still doesn’t know about this baby.”  Then,  she told me the entire story.

Ana (not her real name) was a 16-year-old, honor student.  She was the youngest and the only girl among four siblings. pills Life was going smoothly for her, until she got pregnant by her 17-year-old boyfriend.  When she broke the news to him, he left her.  Being pregnant, ashamed and not knowing what to do, Ana decided to abort the baby.  She took some pills during the fifth month of gestation to rid of the life growing inside her.  None of her family members knew she was pregnant, not even her mother, who would later feel the most guilt in this entire ordeal.

One afternoon while doing laundry, Ana felt the painful uterine contraction for the first time.  She had been anticipating this pain;  she had been waiting for the pills to finally free her from this mess she had gotten into.  So she worked extra hard with the laundry, making sure her body exhausted itself to the point of bleeding.  And when she did bleed, it frightened her.  Ana thought that the pills will make her bleed a little, there will be painful cramping, a blood clot will pass out of her, and that’s it – her problem’s over.  But she panicked when the bleeding wouldn’t stop and the contractions got unbearably painful.

Ana cried out to her mother and that’s when she had to finally confess the truth.  Everyone else was out at work, so Ana’s mother hailed a cab and rushed to the hospital.  Baby Girl was born in the cab.  Ana was admitted in the OB-Gyn department, while Baby Girl was brought to us.

“She hasn’t looked at the baby yet,”  Baby Girl’s grandmother told me.  “How could I have not noticed that my daughter was pregnant?  I am such a failure.”  I remained quiet, not knowing how to express myself appropriately.   I felt her pain too.

A while later, the resident doctor came in with Baby Girl’s x-ray report:  hyaline membrane disease.  Her lungs were too premature to function normally.  The doctor suggested to wheel in Ana so she could hold the baby.  But when her wheelchair was finally parked near Baby Girl’s cot, Ana turned her face away.

“She’s your own flesh and blood, for God’s sake!”  cried Ana’s mother, “Hold her in your arms while she’s still alive. Don’t you want to apologize to her.  Just look at what you’ve done.”

Tears started to trickle down Ana’s face, yet she stubbornly refused to look at her baby.  “Please take me away,” she told the nurse.

“Ana,” her mother was almost pleading, “don’t you even want to see how pretty your daughter looks?  Her eyes search for you.”

“Please take me back to my room.”  Ana was wheeled back to her room.

Not long after, Baby Girl started to turn blue.  She was slipping away, fast.  And by the time her grandfather arrived, shocked, the doctors decided that it was time to end the resuscitation efforts.

baby-hand-holdingBaby Girl’s grandfather rushed out and returned with some clothes for her.  He kissed her forehead gently, held her tiny finger and whispered in her ears, “We love you so much.  I’m sorry for what your mother has done.  If only we knew, your grandmother and I would never have let this happen to you.  You’ll always be our special baby, no matter what.  We know you’re a brave girl.  Go to heaven, my love, for you’re too pure for this world.  I love you.”

Baby Girl’s grandparents held hands and looked on with tears in their eyes, as the doctors finally removed the tube and wrapped her up.  After completing the necessary paperwork, they took Baby Girl’s body home.

 

“The death of a baby is like a stone cast into the stillness of a quiet pool;  the concentric ripples of despair sweep out in all directions, affecting many, many people.” De Frain, 1991

 

 

(Photos taken from Google images)

 

 

 

 

 

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23 Responses to The Story of Baby Girl

  1. masood says:

    It’s so touching, I feel really really bad for the baby girl. This should be a lesson for the one who ddn’t even think about the sin and its consequences. Ire for that mother of innocent baby.

    This incident shook me for a very long time 😦

  2. Specs says:

    I’m too shaken to say anything cohesive. Its awfully heartbreaking.

  3. Amy says:

    I’m devastated. Truly dumbfounded.. If only we realize the consequences of our actions beforehand.

  4. Awfully sad.
    I’m sure that girl would regret what she did for the rest of her life – her illegimate conception & not looking at her baby.

  5. Dubai Guy says:

    That really left me speechless. A very touching post.

  6. Pingback: The Story of Baby Girl | Tea Break

  7. Pingback: The Story of Baby Girl « Walking Through | Baby-step

  8. Sabiha says:

    So sad sis.

  9. Mrs Umer says:

    Salams, got to know your blog from Jus, and this entry brought tears to my eyes. At least the baby got to know love from two people before it departed from the world…

  10. nadia says:

    Specs, Amy, Serendipitous Life, and Sabiha – thank you so much for stopping by.

    Dubai Guy and Mrs Umer – welcome to my blog!

  11. mubi says:

    we read and hear such stories every other day…and u have witnessed it.. the grandparents were so sensible..only if the girl had told the truth…

    the only thing about such stories make me wonder is that…some people want babies sooo much and they dont get it and those who dont want it, value it so little when they get it…

    it was indeed very heart breaking…

  12. Umm Travis says:

    It really made me so sad too. Your re-cap of the story was beautifully written. Ma shaa Allah

    Although, I have less sympathy for the grandparents. I mean, they taught their child afterall. She not only behaved badly, lied, covered up, but then STILL behaved badly and heartless after the fact. Sheesh.

  13. Amir says:

    This is so sad. I can’t say anything else beyond that, truly heartwrenching.

  14. Asma Ahsan says:

    I think thats what naana naani are all about – a child of their child – even premature – was dear to them – but for the mother, it was something that shamed her – so she didnt want to look at it – 16 year old means baby in mind but grown up in body – very sad.

    a 17 year old dad! A boy with a mans body and the mind of a three year old – what can one expect from a guy at that age!

  15. Niyaz says:

    So sad to read it , too touching ..what to say on this poor little gal? Well, I don’t know which part of world it happened but anyhow these kind of scenes are still happening in most places every day , they are just doing for fun without knowing the reality.

  16. Aqeel says:

    The story of this poor baby really touched my heart. Although these sorts of incidents comes in a doctor’s life quite frequently but some of them are really touchy and leaves a big impact on you. They are really unforgettable. But this is truly one of them and one of the sad realities of life. We can only try and hope that people will understand why making their poor babies pay for their mistakes.

  17. nadia says:

    Mubi, Umm Travis, Amir, Asma, Niyaz, and Aqeel – thank you so much for your valuable comments.

  18. Muslim Girl says:

    What a heartbreaking story. Is this true? It makes me so sad.

    I have a comment to Umm Travis though, when she said that she feels less sympathetic towards the grandparents, for after all they were the ones responsible for teaching their daughter.

    Sometimes parents do all they can to teach their children right and still Shaitaan sometimes manipulates people! That’s why even Allah (SWT) has said that parents are not accountable for the actions of their children past the age of puberty. Parents can only do so much.. they nurture and guide and teach their children, but ultimately everyone’s decision is for themselves to make and only they are liable for their actions!

    Yes, unfortunately, this is a true story, sis.

    Thank you for stopping by, and welcome to my blog.

  19. BholiBhali says:

    Hmmm Nadia sis this is heartbreaking hmmm! A lesson for those with open heart to learn how precious a life is hmmm!

    duas always!

  20. frozeefa says:

    Ya Allah…
    I am so touched by this post sister…i know when i enter ur blog i leave after reading a good post..
    But this one is extraordinary…
    Having read ur post i feel so attached to my Zahra..i guess it has made me more greatful of what i have in my hands.. Al Hamdulilah..
    Yes Baby Girl will be welcomed with open arms in Jannat…i can imagine the way she is entertained..so solemn and with so much love..At least she had the love from Her Creator.. AL hamdulilah

  21. nadia says:

    Sisters Bholi Bhali and Frozeefa, thank you so much for your thoughts.

  22. hfm says:

    This is so heart breaking.
    When my sister was studying at Uni,she’d always have stories like this to share- my mum would always say that the Prophet SAW has said that the truth will set you on the road to Jannah.

    I gues Allah places these incidents before us so we can learn a lesson from other people’s mistakes.
    😦

  23. mahrin says:

    Asalaam alaikum,

    I wanted to know if I can use this picture as a cover page to an article that is about mercy towards children.

    Walaikum Assalam, Mahrin. I took these pictures from Google images, so you need not ask permission from me. I guess I forgot to mention my source in the post; my apologies 🙂

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