Heather Fiona McCaughan was born on Monday 2006-08-14 at 11.30 am, 6 weeks early, after a short and relatively easy labour. She's currently (as of 2006-08-14) in the intensive care unit at the Rosie Maternity Hospital, where all children born that early at the Rosie go, and doing well so far as we can tell. Emma is fine.
The 14th of August happens to be our wedding anniversary.
We have pictures of her at 13 weeks' gestation and at 20 weeks' gestation. And one taken shortly after birth, in the ICU and attached to the Machine That Goes Ping. If you are easily upset by pictures of children attached to tubes and wires, you may wish not to look. Otherwise, here it is.
Update, 2006-08-16: Still doing fine. She's having her CPAP nosepiece off for an hour at a time, and coping well. She remains generally strong and healthy. There's a photo of her with fewer tubes attached; it's blurry and noisy because it was taken at night with no flash. If I'd been about 10 seconds quicker she'd have looked much cuter.
Update, 2006-08-18: Heather is out of the intensive care unit and into the "special care baby unit" (SCBU, pronounced "skiboo"). Fewer tubes and wires; she can more or less be picked up and cuddled at will. (Which is frustrating for Gareth, who has a sore throat and doesn't want to get too close for fear of infecting Heather.) We're very pleased with her progress so far.
Update, 2006-08-20: She's off the blue light thing, and off her intravenous drip, and cuddlable at will, and generally doing very nicely. Now she just needs to get the hang of feeding normally...
Update, 2006-08-21: Off all the monitoring kit, too, and being fed (through a tube) every 2 hours instead of every hour. This is standard practice; the idea is that as the frequency of her feeds reduces, she'll get hungrier between times, and therefore perhaps react to boobs with a greater sense of urgency. We had a visit from my parents today, and there will be some good pictures in due course.
Update, 2006-08-22: Out of the Special Care Baby Unit; mother and baby are now in Sara Ward until Heather learns to suck. (The wards in the Rosie Maternity Hospital are named after female relations of David Robinson, who funded its creation.)
Update, 2006-08-23: No change to report (still doing well), but here are some pictures of Heather and family from the paternal grandparents' visit on the 21st. (They're a bit noisy: conditions were a bit dim.) I may add more to this paragraph as they arrive.
Update, 2006-08-24: (I should just have given Heather a blog. Oh well. Incidentally, there are more pictures linked from the previous paragraph than there were yesterday.) She made her first semi-serious attempt at feeding this morning, but hasn't seemed anxious to repeat it since. Current best guess: she might be home early-to-mid-next-week.
Update, 2006-08-27: Well, not really much of an update since not much has changed. Heather's still fine but showing little enthusiasm for feeding. But why should she, when she can just wait and have food delivered directly to her stomach through a tube? Her weight has now gone above what it was at birth (2.279kg) and seems to be rising steadily. Oh, and she now has a middle name.
Update, 2006-08-31: Gradually getting more interested in feeding properly. Growing steadily at about 30g/day. Home on Sunday or Monday?
Update, 2006-09-02: Coming home this afternoon! (Later: She's home. Yay!)
Update, 2006-12-21: We've not really kept up with this; sorry. Heather is doing very well, and now weighs almost exactly 10lb, which in turn is almost exactly double her weight at birth. Here are some recent pictures showing her various moods. She takes after both parents and is reluctant to smile at the camera. Each image links to a somewhat larger version.
Update, 2007-01-07: A minor first today; Heather rolled over from front to back unaided. We think she mostly got lucky with the positioning of her arms. Weight at last weighing was 10lb 15oz; she's probably up to 11lb now.
Update, 2007-01-17: Weight 11lb 14oz; has started eating "solids" (meaning slurry). No further progress with locomotion.