Saturday, October 29, 2011


The mist hangs lightly over the expanse of gravel.  Here and there you can see a trailer, outlined in the fog, but you cannot see beyond them.  The massive Oregonian trees in the next field are hidden from view.  The fog brings a feeling of closeness.  It's similar to the feeling I experience when I am surrounded by mountains at home.

I let the dogs inside from their morning outing.  They know that it's still quiet time, and lay down again to sleep.  Brent and Anaya also sleep.  He cradles her in the hollow of his arm, and she rests there in the arms of her father.  Secure, warm and happy.  They had a rough night.  It was Brent's turn to care for Anaya last night and she had a lot of trouble with her secretions.  She needed constant suctioning.  He was literally up all night with her.  About 5 am I took over so that he could get some sleep before our big day today.

Her breathing was quick and thick with bubbly mucous.  I lay Anaya over my chest and reached for the suction, flicking the switch and grabbing the tube with my left hand.  Gently I tilt her face upwards, and pull her chin slightly down with my left thumb.  Holding the catheter between the fingers on my right hand, I ease it between her teeth and over her tongue.  When it gets to the back of her tongue I arch the midpoint upwards, pointing the tip of the catheter down her throat.  Timing is everything.  She takes a deep breath and I slide it another inch down.  Now that it's in position I close the suction control valve with my left thumb, twirling the catheter from side to side with my right hand, while pulling it up and out of her throat.  A big gob of thick white mucous fills the tube and I continue to twirl and pull, until all of it has been sucked out, and the catheter is no longer in her mouth.

Her eyes full of tears, she takes a clear deep breath and thanks me with one of her happy sighs.

You are so welcome Anaya.

I love you.


  1. Great description of this task that is brought upon us. Mothers of Krabbe children. A task that we would never thought we would have to learn. But we do learn it. And yes we recieve the praise from the actions of our child. The praise that reaches in our hearts, and we become proud to have mastered this skill. There praise conquers our love for our innocent child.

    Chancey's Momma

  2. Thank you for the detailed description of this process. It must be second nature to you now, but I appreciate reading it and understanding how it works. It's a fine insight into your moments, hours, days and even years with Anaya.

    I also appreciate Anne's comments (above).


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