"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
I love that verse. But I think something's missing. Jeremiah forgot to mention that God has a copyright on plans. He's the only one allowed to make plans. Go ahead and try! You'll see what I mean.
My "plan" has been thrown out the window. I arrived in Haiti to discover that the US Army has not been in contact with Vanessa, my new boss, for over a week and that, although they had insisted they wanted one of us to go to Jacmel, we had no further details of when or how. So instead of packing a bag and loading onto a military bus, I unpacked my bags and starting loading milk into these little terrors.
Wayna, Waylande, and Wayline Estime were born in a little village near Port-de-Paix in July. Their mother soon stopped producing breastmilk and asked for help from a nearby mission. She was given 3 cans of formula, which she stretched to last several weeks, but when they were gone, she had nothing left to offer the infants except sugar water.
Vanessa happened to be visiting that village at the end of August, delivering a little boy back to his family after a successful surgery in the US. Someone brought her to the triplets and when she walked in, she met a heart-wrenching sight. The girls were severely dehydrated, feverish, and starving. One of them weighed 3 pounds; the others were just over 2 pounds. Two of them had pneumonia.
Long story short, the triplets came back to Port-au-Prince with Vanessa to try to attain medical visas so they can be nursed back to health in the US where the special formula they need is more readily available and where the risk of disease to a sick preemie is dramatically less. So since my arrival in Haiti, my life has been a blur of bottles, burps, diapers, tylenol, and diaper rash cream. Most nights, I'm lucky to squeeze in 4 or 5 hours of sleep total between feeds and inconsolable crying. Vanessa has slept even less.
For confusion sake, we have nicknamed the girls Faith, Hope and Grace. Faith is the loudmouth; she cries all the time and rarely sleeps for more than an hour at a time. Hope, the one with the least hair, is the little angel. She is generally happy even when the others are screaming. And Grace, the biggest triplet, is our pooper. She inevitably poops on me when I'm feeding her. They are darling little things and if I wasn't so stinking exhausted, I'm sure I would adore them. At least this week has taught me that I will be able to handle my own newborns someday. After doing it for three, one really doesn't seem as intimidating as it did.
We finally heard from the Army. They are sending someone to get me tomorrow morning to go to Jacmel with them. Hopefully I will be able to everything they need and hopefully Vanessa and our new recruit Nancy don't collapse from fatigue here with the girlies.
PS Another lesson learned this week: if you hang the baby over your shoulder, she will perch there and you can use both hands to do useful things like type and update blogs :)