God's blesses couple with ‘Miracle Baby’
There is no pain greater than that of a mother who thinks she may lose the precious life she was entrusted to bring into this world.
Shelly-Gaye Cuff endured much: having to fight for her own life and reserve strength enough to pray and fight for her baby's survival.
But God showed up and granted the Cuffs a blessing in the form of doctors and nurses at the St Ann's Bay Hospital.
"I was 26 weeks pregnant on Friday August 26 of this year (2016). I had just run a few errands and came home to prepare some light dinner. While there I felt a gush - I thought it was urine at first," she explained.
She 'Googled' the normality or abnormality of what had just taken place and even sought the help of a friend who was a medical practitioner.
Soon after, Cuff went to her doctor's office and yet again experienced another gush of fluid down her thighs. After an examination it was confirmed that she needed to go to the hospital because she was about to have the baby.
With shock and fear of the unknown in less than unfavourable conditions, the soon-to-be mom, with a ruptured membrane and a vulnerable baby, sought to push pass the worst.
"In the early morning of Wednesday, August 31, I started feeling contractions: I wasn't dilating. I then developed a fever; I was hot then cold, shaking uncontrollably and I couldn't breathe, my complexion had changed and at that point my body was becoming septic - my body was literally shutting down and I thought I was going to die - my family thought I was going to die."
By then a doctor advised Cuff that an emergency C-section had to be done, but priority would be given to saving her life, as her baby could very well be dead as a result of an infection.
"When the baby came out she wasn't breathing, they kept resuscitating her but it wasn't until after 20 minutes that she gasped. A doctor told my husband that the baby was slowly deteriorating and it was highly unlikely that she would make it to morning."
She continued, "My baby was there - just panting and the hospital had no ventilator to help her breathe. On September 2, she flat lined three times."
When it felt it as though hope was diminishing, God reminded the Cuffs who He was and what He can do.
A call came in from the St Ann's Bay Hospital enquiring if the baby they were told about in Mandeville still needed the ventilator, as a baby had just been discharged.
"JDF (Jamaica Defense Force) came and took the baby to St Ann's Bay Hospital and the baby not only received the ventilator, but top-class care, I felt as though my baby was the only patient there."
She continued, "Initially the doctors and nurses said the baby didn't look promising: they said they were only instruments, it was all God's doing. Every doctor on call came to the assistance of my baby; it was just a different experience, state-of-the-art care... I want to say thanks to St Ann's Bay because they didn't have to take her and to have spent such a great deal of time on her - 59 days - was awesome. I must thank Elaine Johnson-Kelly from NERHA (North Eastern Regional Health Authority) who pretty much opened her home to accommodate me for the period."
Cuff said upon leaving the hospital, after being granted the go-ahead to take her baby home, she watched all the members of the medical team who knew and worked with her baby, cry.
"They called my baby 'Miracle' and 'Grace'. I'm happy to know that in Jamaica there are still health practitioners who don't deal with humans as statistics but as persons, amid the negativity around there is a beacon up there in St Ann.s Bay. I'm forever indebted to them for the care they gave to me and my baby."
With a new found joy; 17-week-old Aaryn-Grace, the Cuffs have, for now, completed their happy home.