13 FebProgress Report
Back in August, Daphne was admitted to the Butterfly Home and was a teeny, tiny two day old premature baby. In her first forty-eight hours of life, she had been abandoned by her first family most likely, because she was born prematurely and because of medical reports in the hospital. We got the call from the orphanage to ask could we care for her initially and see how things progressed. As with most of our children, it is a guessing game. They come with patchwork diagnoses and a lot of unknowns. Because she was so tiny it was difficult to visualise a clear picture of her needs so we scooped her up and brought her to the Butterfly Home.
Very quickly, we realised feeding was her main issue. She could not suck on a bottle and needed a feeding tube immediately. She was very lethargic and quiet, but we hoped with good nutrition she would pick up quickly. She was nursed in a close observation unit so the nurses could monitor her closely and intervene quickly if she was experiencing any difficulties. She spent most of those first few days asleep and rarely opened her eyes. We cuddled her and sang to her, but knew she needed time to rest.
As time went on, her feed volumes were increasing, she was gaining weight and starting to react to those around her. She opened her eyes when someone talked to her and loved to be cuddled. Her ayis would constantly hold her close and willed her to grow.
We brought her for some medical investigations as she got bigger and thankfully things were coming back clear. Week after week, we cheered her on as the numbers on the scales increased. She was thriving. Her feeding tube was removed as she was able to tolerate her bottles with no issues. One of the ayis greatest pleasures is to see a child take their first full bottle after their feeding tube has been removed.
Daphne’s days were filled with sensory therapy, outings to the playground, music and she was quickly discovering her surroundings through play. We began to realise that Daphne was a little warrior, and if truth was known, no longer ‘needed’ us. Of course, we would love to keep all of these children and never have them leave our home but then we would not be able to care for those desperately sick and dying children who need loving arms to hold them in their last few days and weeks of life. For some children, like Daphne they just need that extra specialised care in their early months and time to establish themselves.
The time came in the New Year to say goodbye to Daphne and see her graduate from our care. Goodbyes can be bitter-sweet. It is always hard for the staff to say goodbye to children, especially when they are their cheerleaders day after day and night after night. But they know she is moving on because she is TOO WELL for hospice care, which they realise is a reason to celebrate. She is being cared for in a facility next door to the Butterfly Home, so we are able to monitor her progress closely. We are thrilled to report she continues to thrive and is appropriately developing for her age. We hope her next progress report will contain details about plans for adoption in her near future. Thank you for partnering with us to help children like Daphne get the specialised care she needed to thrive in her first few days, weeks and months of life.