Tales and thoughts from the founder of NormSoft (maker of Pocket Tunes), working and living in St. Croix, USVI

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Blowout party in St. Croix

Gerald is planning a huge party for my 30th birthday.  He's got space reserved at the Cormorant Beach Club in St. Croix for hors d'ouevres and drinks.  And, he's reserved B & the Buzz, a phenomenal high-energy jazz band!  The party is scheduled for 8pm-12am January 15, 2006.  Guests can arrive around 7pm.  If you'd like to come, send me an email, and I'll send more details!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Crucian Baby

Well I really ought to be writing in here more often.  You'd think that we're having a nice quiet life down here.  On the contrary, it's been an exciting rollercoaster ride!

We recently hired Brien Wheeler as the Vice President of Engineering at NormSoft.  We're very excited to have him on board, and we're sure he'll do a great job managing our engineering resources.

We decided to fly him down to St. Croix for his orientation two weeks ago.  His wife Susan was seven months pregnant at the time but decided to come along as well to get some good relaxation in before the baby was born.

Everything started out great, and we were having a great time coming up to speed on business and relaxing in our spare time.  Then on Tuesday night, we went shopping to make dinner.  When we returned home, Susan was not feeling well.  After a call to her doctor, they decided that they'd better go to the hospital to have her checked out.  So I drove them a few miles down the road, and they spent an hour in the ER.  They hooked up a baby monitor and everything looked fine with the baby, so they told her to go home.

A few hours later, Susan was not feeling any better.  They finally asked me once again to take them back to the hospital.  Nervous and concerned, I drove as safely and quickly as I could.  Upon arriving at the hospital, Brien put Susan in a wheelchair and whisked her away.  I parked the car and waited in the ER for 20 minutes, worrying about what was happening.  Finally, someone there told me that they didn't know Susan's status because they had taken her to Labor & Delivery.

At this point, I was still in disbelief that Susan was having her baby.  One of the security guards showed me over to the main hospital entrance.  I said to him, "I can't believe she's having her baby now!"  He responded simply in his Crucian accent, "Believe it."

When I saw Brien a few minutes later, his face was red with mixed concern and joy.  He said, "We're having our baby!  You'd better go home; we'll call you."  I was dumbstruck and walked out of the hospital like a zombie.  I don't remember the drive home, but I do remember that I didn't get much sleep.  Finally, Brien called me shortly after midnight to say they'd had a baby girl, and they'd named her Greer.  Everyone was doing well.  He would call me in the morning.  I finally caught a few winks.

As it turns out, the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital on St. Croix is top notch.  Greer had excellent care, and the nurses were warm, friendly, and knowledgeable.  Greer is fully expected to make a full recovery.  However, Susan was having a few complications, so they kept her in the hospital for a few days' observation.

Susan's parents quickly made plans to fly down to visit.  Dan and Dianne were excellent guests and were relieved to finally see Susan and the baby doing well.  Feeling a bit helpless, Gerald and I did the best we could to make everyone feel at home.  We knew that Brien and Susan were likely to be here 6-8 weeks until Greer was ready to fly, so we started making long-term arrangements.

Things progressed for several tense days, and then Susan was told she could go home.  Greer would be kept in an isolette in the hospital until she could breathe and eat on her own.  Everyone took turns joining Susan going to see the baby over the next several days.  Susan was still feeling ill, and eveeryone was concerned, including the insurance company.

Amazingly, a representative from Tufts Health Care called Susan and asked if she'd like to be medflighted back to Boston, fully covered by the insurance.  After some discussion, they agreed that would be the best option so that they could be with their family and regular doctors.  They started working on the arrangements, and Susan, Brien, and Greer were finally flown back to Boston on Thanksgiving day.

We're now without guests and without excitement.  We feel enormously relieved that Greer is back home with family and doctors that they know.  But we can't help but feel a bit saddened that our Crucian baby has left us.  Brien and Susan proclaimed us Uncle Tim & Gerald, not honorary, but real uncles.

Brien and Susan have since let us know that Greer and Susan are both doing wonderfully, and Susan was released from the hospital in Boston with a clean bill of health.  Greer will be going home in a few weeks as well.

We've had lots of other excitement as well, but I'll leave that for another post.