Friday, September 18, 2009

300gm baby

There is something about a long work day that makes you stay up even late - you have discussed so many things that your mind is cluttered with thoughts and you have pumped in enough caffeine to keep thinking about them that although your body wants to go to sleep, your mind refuses to. I was exactly in this state when I got back to my hotel room at 11:40 pm yesterday. So I switched on the TV to see something funny (laughter always makes me feel light enough to go to bed) or boring (something that would be put me right to sleep !).

After flipping for a while, I landed on reality talk show mainly because I heard the words ''300 gm baby''. While I was sure, I had heard it wrong, the talk show host exclaims ''300 gm ?!...that's nothing !! Even chocolate bars are heavier than that !!''

The scene then shows a doctor and 2 nurses handling a baby that's 10 inches long (to give you a perspective, you can hold the entire baby in the palm of your hand), while one is wrapping up the baby to preserve its body heat, the other is clamping the umbilical cord and the doctor is fixing the artificial respirator to it, since the baby's lungs are not developed yet. What was amazing to me was that 3 people can handle a baby that small in such a coordinated effort and seeing them work in a frenzy, making sure the little one makes it, suddenly made me silently bow to doctors and thank technology. The little one has now grown up to a healthy 4 year old boy with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Normally infants are born after 37-40 weeks gestation and this one was born after 25 weeks. These babies survive purely due to technology and unbelievable care from parents and family. They are in a neonatal ICU (NICU) where they are on life support systems until they are ready to face the polluted world on their own. Life in a NICU is not easy, is really not (will write about it later).

In talking with a friend of mine, I found out that she was born in India in 30 weeks ! She is healthy and normal today and I would have never known about this if she had'nt mentioned it. I was simply amazed that we had such things happen in India even 25 years ago and no one seems to have heard about it. Oh..well...all the media and public cared about was probably who Sridevi was in love with and when Kamal's next movie was to be released.

Needless to say, the program was neither boring nor funny and so I spent a few minutes jotting it down and finally went to bed, exhausted.
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