For Thursday 12-9-04 update, scroll to the end for red text.
Modern medicine is marvelous! This little guy would not be with us today without it — and the grace of God. His due date was JanuaryÂ 13, 2005,Â but he decided it was time to make his debut on Tuesday — and the doctor said it was a good thing he did.
(To see these pictures enlarged, go to the bottom of my Home page.)
Our newÂ grandchild’sÂ umbilical cord was tightly wrappedÂ three times around his neck and my daughter Cindy’s water broke unexpectedly (I’ll let HER tell you THAT story). The doctor said if we had lived 100 years ago the baby wouldÂ be dead. Too often we don’t realize how blessed we are to live in America at this time –Â to have the Christian-inspired foundation in the West to study and develop technology and modern science.
Cindy and Damian are both doing fine. At first the doctors thought the baby would stay in intensive care for 2 weeks because his lungs were not mature enough for the outside world, but with respirators and medicine to keep his lungs from collapsing, the doctor says he turned the corner much quicker than expected. He should be out of intensive care in two days. Blessed be God forever.
Damian stepped on to the stage of lifeÂ at 5 lbs. 11 oz. with dark hair — he even has a few flips popping out from under his little hat. He looks like a fighter, just like his mom. We saw them both today and were filled with joy. Great way to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception!Â My son-in-law Ben is the best husband and father — he is so proud, resposible and attentive — and he truly understands the great spiritual reality of what is taking place. What a great guy to love my daughter! We certainly thank God for him.
Damian is named after the priest St. Damien who gave his life caring for leprosy victims on the island of Moloki in Hawaii. It looks like our Damian’s middle name will be Augustine — which sure has my vote (especially after praying for him two weeks ago in Rome at the Church of St. Augustine when the saints bones were being displayed!). Thanks for your prayers and kind words. We return home Sunday to our daughter Charlotte who had to stay behind because of her wrist operation on the morning Damian was born. She was out of it for a while but is getting back to her old self now. We hated leaving her, but my parents spent the first night with her.
Families are wonderful things. When times like this sweep into our lives, we realize afresh how incredibly beautiful the family is — nothing should receive more of our love and dedication as we serve the Lord than our families, our close friends, and the Church — and of course sharing the love of Christ with the whole world and protecting human life. Geez, we better get busy!
Update:Â Thurday 12-9-04
God has answered our prayers. My daughter Cindy is up and walking around. My wife Janet spent the day with her today while Emily and I entertained Damian’s ever joyful 2 year old brother Dominic. The doctors and nurses have now pulled all the tubes from baby Damian’s body andÂ he is breathing on his own. His mother is now holding him. It will still be a while before he comes home, but he is well and he beat all the doctor’sÂ predictions. He will probably breastfeed tonight or tomorrow morning and will be moved to an incubator in the regular nursery on Friday. My grandson is a fighter — as I pray he will be later in life — a fighter for truth andÂ life, for theÂ gospel and the kingdom of God.