One week ago today, I was slowly recovering from the fright.
WARNING: LENGTHY POST AHEAD…
Just a day after her 11-month birthday, my daughter was admitted to KPJ Tawakal for lung infection. Two days before that, I was at a project kick-off, where I was about to deliver the afternoon workshop, when I received a call from The Hubby, they were on their way to the ER. Little Princess was not doing well. She had fever over the weekend, but was fine on Monday. Little that I knew, it will be the start of emotional journey for me and the rest of the family.
Upon receiving the call, I told my colleagues I have to leave, and passed the presentation to my Account Manager. While driving, my heart is beating furiously, thinking what could’ve gone wrong. She only had fever, that went up and down, yes, and a little coughing. When I arrived in the ER, the nurses were sponging my daughter, and she was crying looking frightened. It broke my heart. I immediately picked her up from the examination table and hold her tightly close, whilst the nurses kept on sponging her. I later told the nurse, I’ll do it myself while nursing her. I did not let myself cry, not yet.
We went to see her paed half an hour later. She ordered blood test and urine test. The look in my little princess eyes.. while the nurse wrapped her in the blanket to hold her still to draw blood… I couldn’t get it off my mind. She looked at me with a question, “Mami, what are they doing to me?” I had to hold my baby down while the nurse drew blood from her. I did not let myself cry, not yet. Held her close immediately after it finished. Once out from the room, I could not hold myself back any longer. While comforting my daughter, with istighfar and tasbeeh non-stop… I cried. And cried. The Hubby hugged me, but still I cried.
We were at the lab area for more than an hour, waiting for Little Princess to pee, but she didn’t. So the doctor asked us to come back to her room. While there, my baby peed, and the urine was sent to the lab. Her blood had traces of bacteria according to the doctor. So she prescribed antibiotics, and I do not want her to stay in the hospital much longer. We went back. It was Tuesday.
Wednesday, I stayed at home, looking after her. She was well. Laughing and playing. All day long. Just the two of us. It was her 11 month birthday. Then that night, she started to act differently. Her breathing was heavy, and when giving her water to drink, I felt as if the water came out through her lungs… I tried not to worry, for she slept soundly. In the morning, she seemed very quiet, not quite herself. She just wanted to sleep and lie down. Her breathing was still heavy. I called her paed, and she advised me to bring her in.
It was Thursday. And this is where my nightmare really started…
There was no room available to admit Little Princess. I was beside myself. I couldn’t quite control my emotions. My baby was turning blue, and they would ask us to wait??!! But I know, oh I know the nurse was trying her best to get any available room. There were rooms should already been available, because the patients were discharged, but they still hadn’t check-out, taking their own sweet time to get their asses away from the hospital. Such selfishness! Such stupidity! Such heartlessness! No caring whether other people would die out of their careless actions! The paed did not even want to look at my baby, but she looked worried. She lost a patient before, maybe there were myriads of worry running through her head… We finally managed to get an adult VVIP room.
My baby was not doing well. That’s what the doctor said. Her condition had worsen. She ordered an x-ray. Again, I was with Little Princess throughout. Held her down, assuring her that everything would be fine. Reciting dua close to her little ears, while she hold on to me with her frail hands and frightened eyes. Ya Allah… only you know how I feel inside, please, please let my baby be fine… Please make her stronger… Please make her brave… I couldn’t stop pleading, and pleading… I have no power at all to make my baby better. Only He does. He can help, and He will help me!
They put her on oxygen then. She had drip in her little hand. Pumping water and antibiotics into her little body. Ya Allah… seeing this tiny little person with all the wires around her… She also had a sensor around her little toe that tracked her oxygen level and heartbeat. And my baby, she had very little energy, just lying there. I slept beside her in that big hospital bed. We had to move rooms three times before we finally had a single room to ourselves.
I kept on thinking… I just started sending her to the daycare. Only 3 days the week before. And she’s already like this? What did I do wrong? Where did I miss it? The Hubby told me not blame myself, and portioning the blame will not make our baby better. He was right of course, but what have I not done enough?
Friday, when the doctor came in the evening to check on Little Princess, she looked… relieved. The antibiotics were doing their job. But my baby still needed the oxygen tube on. Owh… I haven’t told you about the first physio session…
Friday morning, I brought her for physio session. I was prepared for the first part, but not the second, eventhough the physiotherapist walked me through it. I was not prepared for the tiny tube to be inserted into my baby’s nostrils and mouth! No! But I knew I couldn’t stop it. In fact, in one occasion, I helped to open my baby’s mouth, because she was clamping it tight. Ya Allah, make me strong! inwardly I screamed… The moment it was finished, I held her tightly, held her, and held her. They wanted to put her straight to the drip, but I said no. I wanted my baby to have what normal moment she could before she’s confined back to the bed.
You can say it’s normal for babies going to the daycare to have infection or to be admitted. But I still say NO. It’s not normal for these little people to be confined to hospital beds with tubes around them. NO! NO! NO! A thousand times NO! They should be healthy. Happy little people, running around enjoying their lives! You may say it’s normal for your baby, if you want to. But not for me. Never for me.
Little Princess had three more physio sessions before she was discharged on Sunday afternoon. Yes, she was discharged on Sunday. But it was an emotionally harrowing four days of my life. The hospital walls closing in every single day, I though I would go crazy. Ya Allah, please, I don’t ever want to go through this experience again. Ever.
On Saturday, I was supposed to go to the induction session for my MBA course, but I didn’t go. I thought that would be my escape for a little while from the hospital. But owh… the words a loved one could say to make you feel really bad about yourself. I felt awful, I was the worst mother in the world for wanting to be away from my baby, just a little while. Ya Allah, forgive me. Hana, forgive your Mami for being so weak. I am so sorry for even thinking that I’d the rights to escape. Everyone else came and went back. Even The Hubby could leave the hospital to get a change of clothes, etc. But no, not the Mami. Mami had to stay.
My Little Princess is recovering well. She’s almost 100% back to herself. No more coughing since yesterday, Alhamdulillah. She had to continue a course of antibiotics, and finished up the antibiotics that was prescribed to her in the hospital the past week. She’s filling up back the fats that she lost in that week that she was unwell. Every time I saw her ribs and legs and hands these past two weeks, I couldn’t help but cry. She’s not a plump baby, thus she looked really frail without the fats on her body.
Needless to say, no one would be able to understand what I felt, except for a mother, except for a woman. For we have this tiny part of us that Allah SWT has given to us and only us. And this feeling that you feel, once you’ve seen your child in that way, it will never go away.
O Allah, thank you for making my daughter better. Thank you for listening to my prayers. You only test me with tests that You know I could go through and not more than that.