The sounds of sleeping fill the room—an early night for pairs of moms and babies still recovering from surgery. They sleep head-to-toe in the same bed, young ones at the top, elevated to breathe better.
Muttah's mom rouses when her son wakes from hunger. She puts the kettle on to boil, scoops two measures of formula into a plastic bottle, screws on the nippled top, and shakes without ever fully waking. Her own child happily drinking from a bottle, she gently pats the fussy baby in the next bed so his mom can get some much-needed sleep.
This is the sisterhood that happens in recovery rooms with sick children.
Some moms don’t have time to find the sisterhood. Their children respond to surgery and care so quickly that they are released from hospital without spending much time between the green-tiled walls.
But many moms are initiated to the hard days and sound of monitor beeps. You can always spot those fresh to the intensive care unit—a little shell-shocked, a little hesitant to unlock their hearts.
They are intimidated by the tubes and wires still present in their newly-mended children. The moms who have been there for a few days come over to comfort. They speak softly and reassure. “The tubes and wires will go soon, don’t worry. Be patient. Just look at my girl! The tubes are all gone.”
Even moms still worried about their children, like Mawada's mom, have these gifts of kind words for the others.
There are long days spent bed-side. Young faces are examined for any sign of change. Every milestone is celebrated: breathing aids removed, incisions healed, bandages removed, discharge papers issued.
Maybe you are part of the sisterhood too.
Maybe, just like these Libyan moms, you found yourself in a group you never asked to join but were so grateful to find. This circle of care is vital for the families we meet. They leave the hospital as Facebook-friends, eager to see each others’ children grow tall and strong.
When you give, you create space for this exhausted, grateful sisterhood to grow.