The Artificial Womb: Newborn Intensive Care – Painting


And like a flick of a switch, all of fear evaporated into the night sky and I KNEW that this baby was in good hands: in the hospital’s hands and in God’s hands.

In truth, these were the babies that in the past would often die. When we were able to visit again, three days later, to the intensive care unit, surrounded by babies the size of kittens, nestled in their incubators, covered in blankets, cocooned for a time in an artificial womb I was at once grateful for the advances in medical science and at the same time, looking at baby Ruhiyya, a hefty 9lbs 11oz, I thought, ‘This is a healthy baby!’ She was a giant in a room of elves.

A few days later she was able to come home and I was so moved by the experience that I painted Baby Muffin in her half-world: neither in the womb, nor at the mother’s breast, but half way in between cocooned in a white Calla Lily, surrounded by a bed of roses.

A crisis is a time when we are motivated to change and to grow, and each new child that enters into a family requires their parents to change, develop and grow in such drastic new ways to accommodate the development of that new being. The quickest way to growth is through crisis. Hence, a crisis in necessary around the birth of a child.

It seems counter-logical because, isn’t having a baby enough crisis?

But upon reflection is the the most illogically logical solution. Children need their parents to grow up FAST so they can parent them in the ways that they need. Crisis stimulates growth.

Having your newborn hooked up to feeding tubes, medication tubes, breathing apparatuses, not being able to hold or nurse your newborn, and in a sense being the hospital’s child for a time being, is a crisis. This is the crisis that my sister and brother-in-law went through two weeks ago.

Upon reflection with them about what they learned from the crisis, it was, without a doubt, patience. Little Ruhiyya, for the future development of her inner potential, needed her parents, and all the rest of us in her midst to learn patience.

For indeed, she is our example. Serenity. The calm eye in the midst of the storm. These are the qualities that describe this little being. From her we will learn patience. For her we will learn patience.

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©2020 by Erika Hastings.