Blog 2009 May 7, 2009 - Announcing Jacqueline Mae! It's official, another girl! Born last night at 4:04 AM here at home. The due date was to have been May 11th, but Esther usually has her babies about two weeks early, so we were getting anxious for this one to come. At 2 AM the water bag broke and by 3 Esther woke me up. We called the doctor and within about half an hour he arrived with his assistant midwife. This guy is a very well known pro-natural birth doctor whom we had visited a few times during the pregnancy. About 15 minutes after he arrived the baby was born, naturally and without any problems. We woke up the kids prior to the birth, but only Kika and Steve were there for the actual birth. I had told Kika that Mom might get a bit loud, but she was so calm and quiet. The only one that got loud, Kika observed, was the baby right after she was born--ha! The pediatrician arrived and checked the baby and pronounced her completely healthy. She is 52 cm long, weighs 3.5 kilos, and has dark hair. Mommy and baby are fine and resting and happy. So alls well that ends well! Another girl! During the pregnancy we had done two ultrasounds and neither revealed her gender. I guess she was saving the surprise for last night. Okay, will sign off for now, gotta get mom a steak or some tacos for lunch. Time to celebrate! August 14, 2009 - Kika's birthday, eight years old! August 21, 2009 - Typhoid fever: Kika had not been feeling well for a couple of weeks complaining of pain in her left shoulder and back and head. It wasn't constant pain, but on and off. We took her to two doctors who noticed a throat infection and prescribed antibiotics, but her condition didn't improve. Finally, we were able to see a very good pediatrician who had us do a bunch of tests and the diagnosis was typhoid fever! We immediately began a round of antibiotics and after five days Kika was better! It has been two days since then and Kika is still complaining a bit of some pain in her shoulder so we are keeping an eye on it and hopefully it will subside soon. If it doesn't, we will need to investigate further to find out why. So please keep her in your prayers! August 22, 2009 - Off to Houston! Today we did some new blood tests to see why Kika was continuing to have pain in her shoulder, head and back. We did the tests in the morning and by the afternoon had the results. Once we got home we called the doctor and read the results to him. The tests for typhoid fever were all negative, but her white blood cell count was double what it should have been. The doctor told us that whatever was continuing to be wrong with her was beyond his skill and suggested we intern her in the local public hospital to do more tests and get the opinion of other doctors who specialized in infectious diseases. At this point we had to make a decision. We had already stayed at the public hospital with Kika and, although the doctors and staff were capable and very sweet, the conditions and facilities left a lot to be desired. Because of this, and for other reasons, we had decided to move our whole family to Houston so that we could better care for Kika and make a plan for her ongoing therapy. So, after much prayer and thought, we decided to send Kika and mom to Houston in the hopes that she can receive the treatment and care that she needs. Please pray that all goes well and I will try to be faithful to update everyone via this site as things progress. August 25, 2009 - Kika goes to surgery today. My wife just wrote me and said: So the doctors just came to officially tell me, they'll be ordering a cat scan and a shunt series, and Kika will probably go into surgery today. She has a cyst that is pretty large so it could be blocking things up and causing all the problems. So Kika can't eat or drink anything more today, pending surgery. So please pray that all goes well, we'll keep you posted. August 25, 2009, 7:30 PM - Operation: Kika went into surgery at 7:15. The doctors found that her shunt was infected and would have to be removed. She also has a cyst in her abdomen that could have caused the infection and blockage of her shunt. The operation should take about two hours. Please pray that the Lord helps the doctors to do a good job! August 26, 2009 - The operation was a success! It took less than two hours but all went well and Kika is recovering now. Thank you so much for all your prayers and support during this time. She will remain in the hospital with an external shunt until the infection is over and then will need a new internal shunt put in. So we're not totally "out of the woods" yet. But, so far, so good. Last night my wife wrote the following: Kika just said the sweetest thing. She said, "Mom, I'm so happy that they're taking such good care of me. I just almost can't stop praising the Lord."