Bringing Home The Baby
They are words that you never want to hear in any situation, but especially during a pregnancy. That your child only has a 5-10% chance of surviving. That is what Doctors told one expectant mother-to-be last fall during her first trimester.
The doctors suspected it may have been a serious chromosomal disorder like Down Syndrome or another Trisomy. If the issue wasn’t chromosomal, the doctor explained, it was likely a cardiac problem- and if it wasn’t cardiac, it was likely genetic.
“The anguishing weeks waiting for the results of the tests for more definitive answers were terrifying and humbling,” she recalled. “They tested first for the four most likely explanations for the enlarged nuchal translucency: Down syndrome, Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18, and Turner’s syndrome. Thankfully, all four came back negative.” (Continued Below)
The negative results they received were “puzzling, but gratifying,” she said. Together with Doctor Mellisa Fries, they poured over medical textbooks and literature finding out what they could. They started doing ultrasounds with more frequent regularity.
Midway through the pregnancy, she received word that she could expect her baby to be born healthy. Despite the seemingly good news, there remained the possibility of a serious cardiac problem. Every prenatal care professional and specialist they met with continued to remind them of the possibility of the worse case scenario.
“I could have read doom into their words but I chose to accept them for what they were: an acknowledgement of my own power to make the decision of what I wanted to do for myself, based on my own assessment of the odds and my own tolerance for risk,” the mother responded.
They started getting tons of support from friends and family who took the news optimistically. Still, lingering doubt kept her own optimism low, not being unsure of how to react to news that her baby boy was on the way.
When she finally gave birth that spring, it was to a healthy baby boy who was chromosomally and genetically unremarkable in every way. Everyone celebrated the outcome they prayed for — even when it seemed near impossible.
Along the way, they learned that making clear-headed decisions, despite their fears required information, patience, and a very good support system.
Article: Washington Post