Because raising one kid wasn't torture enough...

The Huang family newsletter

(special poetic edition)
‘Twas the week before Christmas, and we were all glum
‘Cause we had to study, exams were to come
But exams weren’t the only thing looming quite large
It’s Kimberley’s belly! It’s big and in charge!

At 40 weeks old, our dear baby inside
Was still a week early by French standard guides
So seven more days, at least, we had to go
When Kim noticed something that made her say “Whoa!”

A vaginal swelling, it seemed, was down there
Just off to the left, she said, rather aware
She asked if I (anDrew) might take a quick peek
As long as I promised to puke not nor shriek.

We thought it might be something frequently seen
Some swelling, edema perhaps — something clean
We went to the doctor to ask for a glance
“A Bartholin’s cyst,” she said. “Happens by chance.”

A Bartholin’s cyst is thus not a big deal
Though sometimes it chafes, which is not a great feel
So long as it didn’t get big and infected
The pregnancy can proceed just as expected.

But after two days Kim felt just a bit worse
So back to the office, we checked with the nurse
Who gave us a rendez-vous with an OB
Who gave us some Augmentin from pharmacy.

The antibiotics were swallowed with care
But hour by hour it seemed a nightmare
The swelling did worsen, there could be no doubt
The antibiotics weren’t gonna work out.

So after two days, thus we went in again
The doctor took one look, and right there and then
She pulled out a needle, an 18 gauge size
And sucked out the pus meanwhile Kimberley cried.

She told us that she had sucked forty cc’s 
Of pus from the abscess’ big cavity
She held out some hope that it should now go heal
We went home and thought we were done now for real.

But nevertheless things did not much improve 
Though volum'nous pus she, in fact, had removed
Still all of the girl parts continued to swell
Thus making our mother feel very unwell.

Our mother-to-be could not walk, sit, or stand
Without her bad pain getting way out of hand
The lightest of touches was too much to bear
She could not much tolerate her underwear.

She soldiered on through our last days of exams
The reading, the writing, the oral programs
A few more days later we went in to check
By this time our Kimberley’s nearly a wreck.

She hoped that she could have the babe nat’rally 
But it looked more and more like that wasn’t to be.
The pain, at this point, was so bad she can’t stand
To have a plain cervical check by one’s hand.

The doctor and midwife on call came to see
And both conferred ‘twixt themselves and Kimberley
And then they decided to say it’s worthwhile
To take out the baby, Caesarian style.

So suddenly one hour later we were
Inside the OR with madames and monsieurs,
And after a cut and some diathermy
There was the loud cry of a baby – you see!
Immedi’tely foll’wing, the doctor incised
The Bartholin’s abscess, and opened it wide
The pus came on out, now for once and for all
The labia now could shrink back down to small.

The next several days were still painful at best
And talking in French left us frequently stressed
Mais Rome ne s'est pas faite en seulement un jour
And we were just glad to be healing for sure.

So after five days, we arranged our affairs
We left from maternity, walked down the stairs
Got into our car and then drove her on home
Then I sat down gladly to write out this poem.

The name of our daughter is Solène Noëlle
For “Solène” is French and we thought it was belle
“Noëlle” is ‘cause Christmas was drawing quite near
The fruit of our labour is finally here!
Born at 1:27 pm on Saturday, December 23, 2017, Solène came in at 3050 g (6 lbs and 11.5 oz) and 49 cm (19.5 in) long.
Kimberley and Solène arrived home yesterday, and Nolan is slipping beautifully into his new role as 哥哥오 빠 [gege-oppa] (which means "older brother" in Mandarin and Korean). Having a boy and then a girl is called "le choix du roi" in France: the choice of the king!
Solène also comes with both a Chinese and Korean name. Her Korean name is 황송은, and her Chinese name is 黃頌恩, meaning "Praise of Grace." As with Nolan, Solène's Chinese name is designed to phonetically resemble her given name (so-len; sòng'ēn).
Baby's first first bump!
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This newsletter is about Andrew, Kimberley, Nolan and Solène Huang: their journey from the US to Canada to France and, ultimately, to Bongolo Hospital in Gabon, West Africa, with the Post-Residency Program of Samaritan's Purse (World Medical Mission).

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