And babies make four -- an update on CBS11 reporter Bennett Cunningham, partner Michael Spann and their return to D-FW with two new babies on board
11/14/08 10:54 AM
By ED BARK
CBS11 investigative reporter Bennett Cunningham and his partner, Michael Spann, are newly back in D-FW with new arrivals Liliana Elizabeth and Gregory Adam, who were born in Hartford, Conn. on Oct. 10th via gestational surgery.
Liliana is still recovering from a life-threatening infection of her intestines -- Necrotizing Enterocolitis -- that causes inflammation, interior abdominal damage and tissue death.
"We spent four weeks in a very small hotel room in Hartford, and spent every waking hour in the neo-natal intensive care unit with Liliana, hoping that she would get better," Cunningham said in an email. "She couldn't have any food by mouth for 10 days. It was heartbreaking. But now she's home in Dallas and under a doctor's care, and seems to be doing very well."
Liliana and Gregory were birthed after a 34-week gestation period in a surrogate mother's womb.
"I read some of the comments" on a previous posting in these spaces, Cunningham said. "Just to clarify, this was not an adoption. Michael's sperm was used to fertilize one egg and mine the other. So we are the biological and legal fathers of both kids under Connecticut law."
Cunningham returned to CBS11 part-time this week to work on several stories that had been nearly completed before he went to Hartford. One of them, on fuel-inefficient vehicles being used by some elected officials and law enforcement agencies, aired during the station's Monday 10 p.m. newscast.
"It's not easy with two newborns, he said. "But although the station told me not to worry about work, I felt compelled to finish the stories. It was my choice. So CBS was incredibly nice enough to work out a modified schedule that allows me to get the stories done and also spend a lot of time with the children."
Cunningham praised CBS11 president/general manager Steve Mauldin and news director Scott Diener for being "extraordinarily progressive, sensitive and flexible when it comes to helping us start a family. It really is something that most news directors would not be happy with -- but not mine. Both he and the GM have bent over backwards. And we are so grateful."