Late night thoughts

Friday, August 01, 2014

A few thoughts late at night:
We decided on a name for the new baby in our life. It’s Ravi. The “v” is pronounced with a really soft “b” sound. So it really sounds something like “raavi” or “robby.” We’re also keeping the name that was on his birth certificate so his full name is Ravi Bharat Shahi.

I’m feeling really good. I sleep when I can and now that I feel like we’re out of the danger zone my nerves have calmed a lot. I still don’t have all the answers about the future and am trying to take it all one day (one diaper) at a time. He still has diarrhea and some tummy trouble, and my #1 concern is to get him to gain weight as he’s still weighing in at 2.5 kg (about 5.5 pounds). I’m taking him to Nepalganj a few hours away to a pediatrician early next week to get better diagnostics.


A neighbor gave some fabric that she had tucked away and saved from having her own infant and came by to leave it in my room for Ravi. I was sitting on the fabric getting ready to wrap him up in it when I looked down and realized it was covered in bugs and I had an itchy rash spreading over my body. Still not sure what it was, but I wrapped every piece of fabric and clothing and carpet up in my room and put it outside. Then I moved Ravi out to sleep in the room that connects to mine. Our next door neighbor, Sukmaya, is coming over a few times a day to feed Ravi her breast milk. She has the biggest, most beautiful heart and showers him with the most beautiful kind of love while she’s here. She also bundles him up in layers of clothing and blankets even though it’s the heat of summer and does the sweetest little things like blows on him when he coughs and covers him in mustard oil. While she breastfeeds him she takes out all the little lice nits in his hair and talks to him in the most adoring way. Also, she’s only 20 and she’s going to school part-time through all of this and taking care of her own one-year-old daughter. She’s a heroine and I love her.

Everyone on our amazing team is taking turns with baby Ravi and showering him with TLC. We’re still trying to be careful with the kids handling him because he’s so fragile right now, and we also want to keep everyone else safe if by chance he’s contagious. Lots of hand washing, of course.

My days are still packed like they’d normally be. Meetings on biogas (fuel), planning for the new school and campus, getting ready for the women’s center to launch and open their store, trying and failing to stay on top of email, and making sure all my other little ones feel loved and cared for, but having little Ravi has really rocked my world. It’s also really made me think because he’s probably the 5th emergency case we’ve taken in in the past 3 months. I love working as an organization that can step up and handle emergencies, medical or otherwise, whenever they cross our doorstep, but our home is really at capacity and overflowing and there’s still no shortage of so many other children that I’d take in a heartbeat. My wheels are turning.

My older children are absolutely thriving. They read books, play lots of soccer, and have lots of friends. They’ll ask for your device to play “subway surfer” or “temple run” every chance they get, and they have the best taste in music. Their dancing and singing skills at family satsung still blow me out of the water. We’re still working with the Family Virtues Guide and our virtue this month is “sincerity.” They play legos and jacks and spend lots of time cuddling our new little puppies and chasing them around the yard. The older (8th-10th graders) are really into their studies right now and it makes me so proud seeing them wake up at 5:30 to study and take prep classes for upcoming exams. I love this family of ours. Still not sure how I got the best kids ever and trying to make every moment with them count.

Today a little 8-year-old girl came into the office and as she talked to our vice principal I listened in quietly. Her mother and father both passed away this year, and she’s come down from the mountains in Mugu to her maternal uncle’s house who works as a migrant laborer. I looked at her face and start to feel sad and I also smell something concerning, like rotting flesh. I’m known for my sensitive nose but when I looked at the girl's face closely, I noticed that the right side of her face and hair were dripping in pus coming from her ear. I took her to the clinic where Jhagat acted quickly with a strong dose of antibiotics, checked her ear with the otoscope and filled it with ear drops. He said he was extremely concerned with what the inside of her ear- drum looked like. As I started to remove some of the outer pus, on instinct, I decided to take her home and give her a warm bath. I bathed her with lots of soap and shampoo but still noticed this smell that wouldn’t go away. We made a pot of warm water and I took a syringe to gently cleanse her inner ear. On the third or fourth syringe some sort of huge ball of about a 1⁄2 teaspoon of pus and bugs came out of her ear. I cannot even begin to express the amount of satisfaction I felt from getting that thing out. Looking at it also made me sick. An auntie and I spent the next 20 minutes combing out 2,000 lice and the women in the women’s center found the perfect new pair of clothes for her. We sent her home with meds and she’ll check in next week. I have a feeling she’ll be on the list for admissions this coming school year.

ear trouble

My personal Instagram feed is flooded with baby pictures and snippets from my day. Please also follow BlinkNow for the magic happening everywhere. Patty is one of our new fellows and she, as well as some of our other team members, is helping with our social media and has been keeping everyone updated. She’s responsible for a lot of the baby posts lately and also for keeping me sane and staying by my side with baby Ravi, late into the night. There is so much happening across the board and it’s awesome to have someone working to capture it all. Of course I’m still posting as often as I can. Every single comment, piece of advice, offer to send things for Ravi has touched my heart. Everyone cares so much and it’s really moved me to see how everyone has rallied together to support us in loving and caring for him.

Patty and Ravi

Lots of love right back to all of you, Xo Maggie 

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