The newest member of the Castle
Prince Charming, to be exact. [This is Martha's husband -- "King" of this Castle and proud papa of 3 fine, young princes now, thank you very much!] And for all of you out there in Martha's cyberspace "kingdom" wondering what in the world is going on, I'll give you the abridged, abbreviated, discreet, and quite sanitized version:
After a roller-coaster ride of a week, Martha's body decided it was time for her to have the baby today (Thursday). It just said, "Enough is enough!" in its own inimitable mommy-needs-to-have-this-baby sort of way. So, after an ambulance ride to the hospital (a story I'll let her tell you about later), Martha was "rushed" into a relatively emergency-like C-section at about 9:30 (EDT) this morning. And, you guessed it, Silas Reagan (7 lb. 4 oz. -- at 4 weeks early!) arrived at 9:41 -- with no complications, praise the Lord!
DURING the C-section (yes, I did say "during"; pardon the puke pan -- it was never used)
Now, I know you're wondering about the lung development after the disheartening test results from earlier in the week. Yes, Silas is indeed suffering from a shortage of surfactant, the material that helps the lungs "do their work" properly. He can breathe on his own (the lungs themselves are fully developed anatomically), but he just needs a little extra help along the way for these first few days. So he is in the NICU, where he received a dose of surfactant to help "jump-start" those weak little lungs; he is also currently on a ventilator that is helping him not have to work so hard to breathe on his own. (When I left the hospital this evening, his breaths-per-minute dosage had been cut from 25 to 22, so that's a good sign.) And thankfully, he has as of yet had to receive no oxygen. His blood is absorbing the oxygen he gets just fine -- he's just having to work a bit too hard on his own to actually get that oxygen at this point -- hence the ventilator. Other than these rather expected developments (due to his premature arrival of about 4 weeks), the little guy seems to be doing great. (I must admit, it will be great to hear him "holla" with one of those blood-curdling, "yes-my-lungs-are-doing-just-fine-and-thank-you-very-much-for-asking" screams.) The toughest part for me was watching him cry but not being able to hear him at all due to the ventilator tubes being between his vocal folds, hence prohibiting his glottis from being able to completely close in a full phonatory cycle. (Yup, I've had the class...)
Aunt Joanna with the "Fine, Young Prince"
Mommy (a.k.a. "Superwoman") is doing SPECTACULARLY. The placenta was posterior, so it posed much less of a problem than it would have had it been in the front of the uterus. So Martha was able to keep all of the, um, "plumbing" intact. (Hey, I told you I was going to be discreet...) She is recovering so well that they were talking about starting to give her solid foods before the night is even over. She hasn't been able to hold Prince #3 yet, so that's been a bit rough. (She has seen him and touched him, though.) She is coping absolutely wonderfully. My hope is that baby improves enough to be able to leave the NICU sometime tomorrow so Martha can hold (and feed) him. This is probably wishful thinking on my part...but sooner would be much better than later.
Special thanks to Martha's parents [Rev. James and Chris Sampson] and sisters [Joanna and Sarah] who are here from Pennsylvania and have been such a huge help and blessing. Not sure how we'd have made it without them...
Thanks to everyone for your prayers -- past and present. Keep them up if you don't mind as you think of us, and I'll try to keep you posted over the next few days.
Isn't he"Charming" indeed? He's all of about 10 minutes "old" here.
"Castle, party of 5, please." (Y-chromosomes and all)