My First Breath !!!! By Dr. Sumayya Tasnim, Ottawa

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My First Breath !!!! By  Dr. Sumayya Tasnim

Can anybody hear me?

Hello, I am baby Jasim, a tiny 2 minutes old newborn from neonatal unit of a medical college hospital.  I am struggling to take my first breath.  It is too cold here.  I don’t even have energy to cry.  I am turning blue, need oxygen to survive.  My heart beat is getting slow.  Will I be able to survive as a new citizen of Bangladesh?

I am a premature baby with low birthweight born on 12th of December 2016 at 4.17 pm.  My mom Sakina is a 13 year old malnourished teenage girl.  I just saw her beautiful innocent face; I don’t want to leave her.  She is so worried for me.  Will I be alive to see my dad?  The poor guy is in a vacant look standing outside with couple coins in his pocket.  He is so helpless, does not have money to buy his own lunch, and cannot even think to pay my treatment cost.

One more minute passed by still I cannot breathe properly.  I turned blue.  I see doctors wearing masks and gloves are trying to help me breathe well.  They are trying hard to keep me alive, checking my heartbeats……no, still it is not regular.  They put me in machine to help me breathe properly and keep me warm.  Oh it is so comfortable here, just like my mom’s tummy, I can breathe now, oh yes I can hear my heart is beating. I cry first time in my life to declare my arrival in this world.  I raised my hand and shout to declare my fundamental right.

A day passed since I was born and still in the machine. I am moving my tiny hands and feet. I am yawning… started to feel a bit comfortable……  what are the doctor’s talking about? My friend morzina has just born? and she cannot breathe like me?  Oh poor Morzina!  Just like me she is in urgent need of lifesaving equipment to survive.  It is so hard to breathe without the machine.  But I have to empty breathing machine for Morzina to start her first breath.

What a sunny day today is!  I can see through the wide window the big blue sky and bright sun. Oh I feel so proud! I have a country – Bangladesh, a map and a flag too.  I get the right to talk in my mother tongue and get to sing a song, recite a poem!  When I grow up I would be able to write in my own language, would be able to express my feelings.  My ancestors had to sacrifice their life to ensure my identity.  Now I am a citizen of an independent country but I am living as a prisoner due to poverty. This is how we start our life.  We have to share to take our first breath and struggle to survive.

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