Sort of to coincide with Emma’s third birthday, I’ve gone ahead and imported the entire contents the Emma Dispatch to this updated blog. The new presentation of the Dispatch fixes one of the major problems I had with the old site, which is to say the new site is much easier to view chronologically or to find specific entries.
All old Dispatch comments have been retained and commenting on those posts have been re-enabled if anyone is interested in that sort of thing. I’m not sure how moderation works in the new version of Wordpress, but I guess we’ll figure that out soon enough.
Work on this site is definitely ongoing. I am nowhere near satisfied by the presentation yet, and plan to return to it as time permits. By all means, please continue to stop by if you find yourself needing an Emma fix.
This is a movie that we put together for Emma’s funeral. The photos reflect Emma’s entire life chronologically. It starts with all of us gleefully oblivious that anything was wrong and then transitions suddenly to panic mode when the doctors realized that Emma was sick. The remainder of the first third is Phet and I getting to know our daughter against the noisy backdrop of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital.
We promise that the last two thirds of the movie are pure joy. The videos were filmed by Phet and Grandma Ounnarath during normal day-to-day messing around, and the last slideshow documents Emma’s life at home. Again, all of the pictures in this section are presented chronologically.
If you have a fast enough internet connection, you can play the movie in full screen by clicking the “expanding arrows” button at the bottom right of the video screen.
This is my second attempt at a website for Emma. The first, the Emma Dispatch, was created shortly after Emma was born as an easy way to disseminate information about her status to our family without having to make a thousand phone calls every night. The NICU had a strict policy of only allowing immediate family in to see patients, so the original Dispatch basically had to serve as an information source as well as, in some sense, serve as an alternative to direct contact for jilted grandparents. We did our best to make it compelling, and it turned out to be an extremely useful format for keeping everybody up to date.
The need for a frequently updated Emma news source has passed, but recently I’ve come to think that it has become all the more important to have a little corner of the web set aside to celebrate her legacy in a more permanent way.
This site will probably not be updated often, but I plan to return to it every once in a while to do some weeding and touch up the paint.
Taken during Emma’s second (brief) hospital stint. During this period, Emma was still in the NICU, but was in a separate area called Pod C, which was reserved for the babies needing the least amount of observation.
The nurses would rotate toys between the cribs in the NICU every couple of days to give the patients some variety in their surroundings. Emma seemed to particularly enjoy the toy that we came to call the Junglevision Action-o-Rama. It was an animated diorama of a plastic jungle scene that included a swinging monkey over a glittering plastic pond while a soothing melody played.
Our daughter Emma was born on Nov. 17th, 2006 with a number of heart issues. After several surgeries and many months in the hospital, Emma was able to come home to hang out with Mom and Dad for many blissful months.
Emma passed away on August 16th, 2007, due to complications from her second major heart surgery. This site tells her story, then and now.