My son Chaitanya was born today, ten years ago. He was two months premature. His birth weight just 1.4 kg – 60% lesser than the average birth weight of 3.5 kg – and he spent the first three weeks of his life in an ICU.
We were not allowed inside the ICU for the risk of infection to the newborns, and so the nurse used to “display” our son from behind two glass doors for the first one week. Even my wife was not allowed entry to the ICU for the first week. Every time we asked how the baby was doing, the nurse would pull out her clipboard and dictate to us his ‘quantitative status’ – his heart rate, temperature, oxygen level, infection level, etc.
A week after Chaitanya’s birth, when my wife was first allowed to meet him, she realized he was lying still in his incubator which the nurse said was fine as he was too weak for any movement. Even his eyes were still. “He will be like that for a few more days, ma’am,” the nurse told my wife, “till he gains some strength.”