Apr. 16th, 2004

I should update here for those of you too lazy or uninterested to go see my main journal. I guess I'll put an abridged version of the post we wrote March 16, and preface it with the statement that we are doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances; still just moving through it and figuring out what the hell to do with the rest of our lives.

As a system we have often complained about the lack of time we have in our days. But as it turns out there are worse lacks of times.

Our daughter ended up having 89 hours of life.

On Friday we went into labour in the morning. It started out fine but got progressively worse, ending up with 3 hours of pushing, one of them with the baby in essentially the same spot going back and forth. Up until the last 15 minutes or so she seemed to be doing fine and then they lost the fetal heartbeat. While they were about to put a scalp probe up we got the last burst of sheer adrenaline panic and pushed her out.

So at 5:58 pm on March 12, Emily Hope was born, weighing 6 lbs 10 oz, 21.5" long, with long fingers and toes and beautiful black hair.

She was on the wrong side of death and life, strangled by our umbilical cord. The room filled with people and they restarted her heart and put her on a ventilator. After 12 hours at that hospital the neonatalogist made the decision that her condition was worsening, with seizures and things, and moved her to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.

Sunday was the first time we were able to hold her in our arms, for about 10 minutes, with a bunch of tubes and IVs and a respirator.

On Monday each test brought more bad news. Essentially her brain starved and none of the centres for hearing, vision, movement, or even swallowing were active, and she was displaying no reflexes at all, not even pupil dilation. The team at Sick Kids was great and advised us to just take her off the ventilator and let her try on her own.

So last night at 9 pm we took her off the ventilator and held her for the first time without a zillion needles and tubes. This morning at 4:10 am she stopped breathing visibly and near 5 am her heart stopped.



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