Anyway, rounds progress as I peruse each baby’s chart for new weights, feeding progress, and any notes regarding overnight issues. Usually, the babies I see are just “feeder/growers”, but there are the handful who require monitoring on antibiotics, fluids, and/or oxygen. I’m comfortable among the babies, even the complicated ones, though I’ll admit to “breathing easier” when I make it out of that little hotroom to round on the D Ward babies!
The D ward newborns are usually doing just fine, completing a course of antibiotics, or weaning from formula to breast milk (we can’t send babies home on formula – so they’re all required to be 100% breastfed before leaving – which is awesome). Usually with a nurse or two in tow, I’ll make my way around the beds, checking weights and feeding sheets, and doing a brief exam for anything new…which does occur - rashes, thrush, infected umbilical stumps, extra fingers, etc.
One of my favorite stops was for twin boys, both just feeding/growing, but super cute. Toward the end of my two weeks covering nursery, the twins were getting close to going home, and I asked the mother if she had come up with names yet. “No” – was the answer I got, and I wasn’t surprised – folks here wait a month or two before naming newborns, waiting to see if they’ll survive. The next day while seeing the boys again, their mother covered her smile with a hand and told me she would like to give Twin 1 the name “Ted”, after me! It took me a second to recover my astonishment, but of course replied that I would be honored. I had heard about newborns being named after doctors at the hospital, but to actually have a “Namesake” (as they call it here) was quite a pleasant surprise.
Here in PNG, children take their father’s first name as their last name, so the baby's full name would be “Ted John” – which I thought was pretty neat since John is my younger brother’s name. The obvious follow up question was, “Well, what is Twin 2’s name?” She hadn’t thought that far yet, so I asked what her own father’s name is, to which she replied “Timothy”. Perfect, I said! Ted and Tim! How good can it get?! She was also sold on the idea, and we all had a big laugh when I explained the meaning of “T&T” to them in Pidgin.
Signing Off, Ted (the former)
|Holding the "new" Ted|
|Baby Ted's medical book|