We got a new baby on Friday night: one and a half month old Rosegerline. Her mother died and dad asked us to take her because he could not afford formula. This morning, I was still in bed when Dorothy and Kevs burst through my door. Dorothy was holding Rosegerline. "Keziah! I think we have a dead baby!"
Soeur Bebe had been holding her when she gave a little convulsion and went limp. They ran her upstairs to Dorothy who thought the baby might be choking. She got some formula out of her with the Heimlich, but the baby did not start breathing. That was when they brought her to me.
I checked for a heart beat. Kevs was sitting on the floor beside me, holding her tiny hand. I listened for nearly a minute. Nothing. Rosegerline was already going stiff and cold.
We laid her in one of the quarantine cribs upstairs, wrapped in a blanket. Kevs and I picked some flowers and placed them on and around her. Her daddy came to get her later and carried her out in a Nourisoy box. Dorothy stayed home from church to meet with the father and it was hours after we got back from church before she came out of her room.
It was my first time caring for a deceased person in Haiti, and it was Kevs' first time seeing a dead person. Her beautiful little body will always stick in my mind. But even more, I will always remember when Kevs looked up at me, fear and sadness in his face, and asked, "Keziah, why are her hands so cold?"