Sunday, August 29, 2004

Status unchanged

They say that "No news is good news", but for the record, "they" are full of shit. Believe me, there really are times when you want news, for good or ill, and when being stuck in the "status unchanged" limbo is about as harrowing as life gets.

When the doctor comes to you within minutes of your child's birth and says "We are deeply concerned about A, B, C and D", it's terrifying enough. But when you reach three days after the birth and the current roster of doctors will say nothing beyond "We are still deeply concerned about A, B, C and D", it's all one can do to keep from screaming unto the Universe.

If all goes according to plan, though, we may actually get to hold our child for the first time tomorrow or, more likely, Tuesday. Of course, being as given to deep cynicism and pessimism as I am, I'm reminded of an exchange near the end of the movie Apollo 13, when the astronauts are about to make their final descent into the atmosphere before splashdown and somebody points out that where they're going to hit the ocean is very close to the predicted path of a Pacific typhoon. The guy says, "Maybe they'll miss the storm", and Flight Director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) grumbles, "Yeah, if their luck changes."

The worst part is sure to be tomorrow afternoon, when I bring my wife home. I took her to the hospital alone. Never did I think we'd leave the same way.

SLIGHT UPDATE: I'd just like to publicly thank everyone who has offered kind words in comments below or via e-mail. The sense of community in Blogistan, contentious as it may be, never ceases to amaze.

Obviously I plan to use the blog as a place for some therapeutic venting, so my content may become quite off-kilter. (And the Republican National Convention happening the same week as my baby son's illness will just do wonderful things for my mood, disposition and blood pressure!) What strikes me as really strange right now is how my thoughts alternate almost effortlessly between the profound and the banal; how I think about my son on his ventilator one moment, and yet minutes later I'm checking TF.N for Episode III updates. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I'd also like to publicly thank (though I'm not sure they'll ever read this) the medical professionals at Sisters of Charity Hospital, who have been immensely caring through all this (and whom I hope will continue to be).

And finally, I strongly recommend that if you or your wife or female significant other are having a child, employ the services of a doula (more info on them here). And it you or your wife or female significant other happen to be having a child in the Buffalo area, employ the services of this doula. Her support was of immense worth on a day that was difficult enough, and only became more so.

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