My sweet baby girl from this summer, Anisette, passed away yesterday morning. She spit up shortly after feeding but was not able to clear her throat and it was not clear what was going on until it was too late. She was one of the very first patients I met in Benin, the last I saw before I left to come home, and one of the nearest and dearest to my heart. I remember meeting her mama and showing her that I had a cleft lip and palate once just like her sweet baby and I remember very well how excited her mama was to meet me and be around me.
I am so sad not only because my precious girl will never have a chance to live a full life, but also becuase her mama is shamed by all of this. She lost a baby before, she lost Ani, and she is pregnant now. Her husband does not take care of her or support her, and she is essentially on her own. I keep wondering... what is she going to do? I also can't help but be angry. Why would God take this precious 14 month old from us? I know all things have purpose, but this seems so wrong to me. If she had died in surgery or because of an illness, I feel like I'd understand a little bit more, but something so simple that happens to so many babies they are able to clear their airway- why did she have to be a victim. It's nobody's fault. No one could have seen this coming. It think that makes it harder. She was doing so well and had come so far from when I first met her. She had overcome so many battles, and to lose one so seemingly small and insignificant punches me right in the gut. Makes me see how fragile life truly is.
My heart is broken in so many pieces. I know Ani is so much happier up in heaven with our maker than she was here, but she was such a light in so many lives. I accepted the fact that when I left, I would never see my little ones again, but with hope they would live amazing, fully, vibrant lives that they could not live before surgery. Now, I am full with sorrow that my baby girl will not. She is not the first baby I mourned the loss of from the ship, but she is certainly the one who took my breath away both when I met her and when she left us.
I love you baby- keep an eye on all of us left down here.