Oh where did the summer go? Not spent blogging. My life was turned a bit upside down this summer. My expectant wife Caroline was hospitalized for pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) for 2 weeks, and when she did get released – she was put on bed rest. Caroline has been a stay-at-home Mom for the past 9 years so I had to learn her ways of keeping the wheels moving with two busy daughters during the summer months, not to mention hospital visits to see Mom once or twice a day.
I picked up the Rogers Portable (Wireless) Internet service so Caroline and I could both keep up on email while at the hospital (no cell phones allowed). It wouldn’t penetrate our new windows in the house, likely because of the low-emissivity coating on the glass but it worked fine from the Oakville hospital.
The situation for high-risk pregnancies in Ontario was quite grim this summer. There few hospitals equipped for a high-risk/early delivery (i.e. not Oakville) were quite full and they threatened to move us to as close as Credit Valley in Mississauga, to downtown Toronto, to Montreal, Winnipeg (yuck), or even Detroit or Buffalo. I can’t believe the lack of capacity in our healthcare system – it’s embarrassing.
Anyway, after a couple of weeks at home, pre-eclampsia was turning into eclampsia so they decided to do an early delivery (just under 7 months). We picked the right day (July 14th) as we managed to get a spot at the nearby and wonderful Credit Valley Hospital. Our baby was breech so they had to do an emergency cesarean section delivery. We were blessed with another baby girl weighing 4lbs, 14 ounces, not bad for a 7-month old. As usual, we didn’t have a name picked right away so I nicknamed her Buttercup. The nurses quite liked this and made a special name card for her isolette.
Caroline’s blood pressure was still pretty high and she had a dedicated nurse bedside for the next 24 hours taking her blood pressure every 5-15 minutes as they loaded her up on various blood pressure medications including magnesium sulphate. After 24 hours she was well enough to be moved to the regular labour & delivery unit. Caroline was in the hospital for another week, which wasn’t too bad since she was able to visit Baby Buttercup as often as she liked.
Caroline had received a steroid shot for lung development when she was first admitted a month ago so that really helped with Buttercup’s lung development. Buttercup still needed oxygen for the first week or so to keep her saturation up as she breathing very rapidly and shallowly. They kept her on IV fluids and then added a nutritional supplement for the first couple of weeks before they started feeding her breast milk with a nasal tube. After almost 4 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit at Credit Valley we were finally able to bring her home. By this time she was fully breastfeeding and was about 6lbs and gaining weight every day.
I don’t think I’ve spent as much time in a hospital my entire life as I have this past summer, but we are very thankful that everybody is now home together and healthy. Claire and Fiona adore their new baby sister – now named Maeve Juliet, and as of today' she must be well over 8lbs.
As if this wasn’t enough, I started leading a new project in July with a few of my O# colleagues. It’s a rich client in .NET 3.5, WPF front end connecting to SQL Server through a ADO.NET Data Service (formerly Astoria) sitting on top of the Entity Framework. We’re using elements of our own framework as well as portions of Enterprise Library 4.0 including the Unity IoC Container, Composite Application Library (CAL) and the Validation Application Block. Of course we’re also using VSTS including the database edition and using TypeMock here and within our unit testing.
As you can imagine, a tremendous amount of the application is declarative, not just architecturally, but also programmatically with liberal use of LINQ queries throughout. We’ve started to see some really great productivity now that the architecture is stable so I’m looking forward to resuming regular programming here with some tales from the trenches.