Marty Santiago, from the rap/hip-hop duo Social Club Misfits, and his wife Jocelyn, announce the birth of their first child, Martin Lorenzo Apollo Santiago, born on November 20, 2023, in Los Angeles. Delivered via an emergency C-Section at just 32-weeks' gestation, little Apollo arrived weighing just 2.8 pounds. The emergency was created due to the baby's body having not developed past the 28-week stage.
However, as of today's announcement, Apollo is progressing well in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where he will most likely remain into January 2024. A week after delivery, Jocelyn was able to return home where she is recovering well.
"As scary as all of this is, we are blessed beyond words," says Marty. "We have felt God's presence with us and our son. And we've been overwhelmed by the love and support of family, friends, and the creative community; so much so that it's hard to express our sincere, heartfelt gratitude to everyone."
Ironically, Apollo's early arrival came towards the end of the March of Dimes' 20th Annual Prematurity Awareness Month, the organization's global spotlight on the current state of maternal and infant health in the United States and around the world. According to the March of Dimes, each year, 15 million babies are born prematurely around the world, including about one in ten just in the United States. Sadly, approximately one million babies worldwide die before their first birthday because they were born early, making premature birth the number one cause of death during the first month of life.
As provided by the March of Dimes, "babies are not fully developed in the womb until at least 39 weeks gestation. Important development of their brains, lungs, and eyes occurs in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Continues Marty, "Apollo is already showing us he's a fighter. His progress in these first two weeks has been really good. We have some challenging, yet exciting times still ahead. We know God is with us in this fire. We ask for your continued prayers for Apollo and our family."
For more information on Prematurity Awareness Month and how you can help, please visit the March of Dimes here