September 20, 2010

Charlie's Birth Story


Hello Dear Ones,

The long awaited, much anticipated Charles Baird Greenman has arrived! Jack and I welcomed Charlie into the world on the evening of August 4th! We had a perfect birth, everything went according to plan and our team of midwives (Carol Bunker CNM and Beverly Hook assisting) were stellar in every way. The birth was quick and Charlie arrived after only a few hours of labor. It was clear from the the moment Charlie arrived that he needed some help - he immediately began making a sing-song type grunt so our midwife administered some oxygen and suctioned his tummy to help him breathe. Charlie pinked up right away and even nursed in bed for a while! Carol discussed Charlie's obvious issues with Jack and I before we all decided to transport him to the NICU at Baylor Hospital in Downtown Dallas.

I have been waiting to contact you all until we had a clearer picture of what Charlie is up against... but it's looking like we might not get a clear picture for a while. So here is the news as it stands today: Charlie has many many obstacles in front of him. The big one is that he had a stroke in the womb - possibly as long ago as a week prior to delivery. The stroke is a brain hemorrhage on the right side which has reached the Thalamus - that big mother board at the back of the head. The bleeding is extensive and causing little seizures. Every doctor we talk to tells us scary things about what could happen and then finishes the conversation with, "But we really don't know how this will all manifest." He may have various physical difficulties and developmental problems - especially on the left side of his body. What will those be? No one can tell. Right now, we're trying to stop the bleeding with medication and platelet therapy. The good news is that he is breathing on his own and the seizures have stopped due to a drug they've put him on called Phenobarbital. He'll likely be on this drug for three to six months.

The second issue facing sweet Charlie, and probably related to the brain bleed, is that his two front skull bones prematurely fused together in the womb leaving the front fontanel (the soft spot) very small. There is a striking skull ridge that runs vertically down the front of his forehead. Surgery may be required... but again, we don't know. There are lots of other issues that have cropped up, which are separate of the stroke. We're trying to sort everything out and formulate a plan for his treatment and recovery. As you can imagine, we are extremely hopeful and have faith that this strong, amazing little baby will astonish us all with his come back. Baby brains are not like ours, they have the ability to regenerate cells. They are pliable, mysterious and their ability to heal and find new neuro-pathways is well beyond that of the adult brain. So, we hold onto that knowledge and find comfort in the love of our family and this amazing little man who has gifted us with his presence.

Please feel free to share this note with those that know us and are wondering how baby Charlie is doing. I know that you are keeping us in your prayers and thoughts. The more people we have thinking about our little Wonder Boy, the better.

All our love,
The Greenmans

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