Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Last Self-Indulgent Post--Baby Pictures!

Here's a pic of my little girl before her transfusions (actually, it's about an hour into her first transfusion--she was initially even paler than this).

And here's a pic of her taken today.

Isn't she beautiful? Of course, I'm probably a little biased.


We just got back from the hospital, where our little girl had an MRI today (a follow-up from an EEG yesterday), which confirms that her brain is A-OK.

And on that fantastic note, I must sleep. Ideally for about a month.

Monday, September 18, 2006

It's a Girl!

Six pounds, one ounce of Rayne Kelcey Sumner joined the world at 15:28 yesterday! Happy Zeroth Birthday! (Hey, if Asimov can use "zeroth," so can I).

I hope readers will forgive another personal note, but after the stress of the last two days, I think I'm entitled a little self-indulgence, so bear with me.

It turns out that my daughter's incredibly low blood content was due to a tear in the placenta. They're still unable to find any such thing, but they did find 1.5 cups of my daughter's blood in my wife (an awful lot of blood when you're six pounds or so), so it was clearly leaking somewhere. Of course, any such loss of blood is bad, but knowing that's what it is is emphatically good--it means that there's no disorder behind it, just a loss of blood, and so the transfusion should be all she needs.

This is borne out by her current condition, which is hugely improved. All indications are that my little girl is going to be A-OK!

Unfortunately, my camera's still at the hospital with my wife--not that it matters much, since I can't find the cable for the thing--but I'll update this post with pictures once I have it here. I'll post one before, and one after the transfusion, to give a little perspective on just how lucky we are.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

What a Day - I'm a Dad! . . .Somewhat Tentatively.

I hope readers will excuse the more personal notes, but. . .wow.

My wife noticed this morning that her fetal movement had substantially diminished, so off we went to the hospital to have it checked out, expecting nothing more than the baby facing the wrong way or some other such minor problem. Monitoring there turns up nothign really wrong, per se, but nothing reassuring either, so they opt to induce labour. Further discussion about my wife's body's readiness for such a thing leads them instead to opt for a c-section.

Fast-forward two hours. While the baby was being removed, we hear her cry for about two seconds, before one of the doctors bellows "she's much too pale! Get Dr. Cook!"

Nothing is said to us while we hear great commotion going on on the other side of the curtain. Doctors are flying in (let this be a lesson to any readers who prefer home birthing. Today I became emphatically and unequivocally convinced that such a choice is purest idiocy--doctors go to med school for a reason!). We're left speechless, while I try to console my wife who has broken into the tears I was choking back--it was without question the most emotional five minutes of my life.

The next two hours are a blur of half-answered questions, while doctors and nurses milled about my daughter (and, of course, my recovering wife). Finally, we get a full rundown.

"Unknown causes" led my daughter to have incredibly severe anemia. Normal blood pH is 7.35-7.45. Fluctuation from that is very bad news. My daughter's was 6.94. Her hemoglobin count was thirty-four. That's less than twenty percent of what it should be (somewhere in the neighbourhood of 200). Her red blood cell count was 30 percent of normal.

By rights she should have been stillborn. Not only wasn't she, her heartrate was always fine, she could breathe on her own from the outset, and her oxygen levels were always on the low end of normal. The hematologist has no explanation for this. My daughter was in an oxygen tent for all of two hours, and that purely precautionary--again, her levels were fine.

An injection of saline was administered immediately to give her heart something to pump, and a transfusion was started a couple hours ago (a six hour process--I won't know the results of it until I return to the hospital in the morning, but she was progressing well when I left). The saline (and the doctor who so promptly administered it) unquestionably saved her life--at least as it stands now. It's impossible to say for certain that her body will produce it's own hemoglobin and red blood cells after the transfusion, but failing to do so is (I'm told) quite rare, so the prognosis is good. Amazingly, none of her organs--including her brain--show any indication of damage from what should have been a substantial lack of oxygen. Though it's still too early to tell for certain.

If we'd arrived at the hospital even an hour later, my daughter would be dead. I can't begin to describe how much I hope we made it in time.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Blogging Hiatus

I'll be on a bit of a hiatus for the next bit (well, not entirely, more or less as it is currently, and has been for the last couple weeks). As the big day approaches, I find there are more and more things I forgot to get to, making time a scarce commodity.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Biblical Studies Carnival IX

It's time for the obligatory (and, at this point, extremely redundant to most readers, though perhaps someone stumbling on my 'blog will arrive and be directed to the best of the biblioblogs for the month of August) mention of the Biblical Studies Carnival. It's a stroke of fantastic good fortune that so many able volunteers host these each month, the latest on Stephen C. Carlson's Hypotyposeis.