Pray Without Ceasing

I've received another update from Charles and Judith about their baby. (Previous updates here)

(July 21) The baby's heart beat often skips a beat, kind of 3 beats and then a skip but it is not always that regular. Friday they did a fetal echo cardiogram and discovered that the baby's heart has 2 small holes in it. The holes can easily be repaired later when the baby is stronger and they may even close on their own. However they are concerned because this can be associated with chromosomal disorders, especially Down syndrome (trisomy 21), trisomy 13, and trisomy 18. Babies with Down syndrome can live but few babies with trisomy 13 or trisomy 18 live more than a few months.

It is too late for amniocentesis (a test for these chromosomal abnormalities) as there is no fluid to speak of. They could get a genetic sample from the blood in the cord but the expert they had that does this got another job and they do not want to try it. It is hard to do especially since the baby is moving more and there is some risk of infection. They could use a needle to get a sample of the placenta.

A part of the amniotic fluid is urine from the baby. Whenever Judith urinates some fluid comes out. They collected some of this morning (Saturday) and will collect more, and send it for analysis. It will contain cells from both Judith and the baby and they hope to test the baby's cells to see if it has a chromosomal anomaly and which one.

For more information on this see: http://womenshealth.jhmi.edu/ob-ultrasound/patients/nt_info.html#1st%20question8-1-07

(Aug 1) The results of the chromosome tests are back. It is definitely not trisomy 13, trisomy 18, or trisomy 21. There are some other possible chromosome defects but they are very rare and they usually do not test for them. Also babies with those defects usually result in a miscarriage. The baby is a girl. The baby's heart rate has dropped down twice now probably due to compression of the umbilical cord. The amniotic fluid usually protects the cord but of course we have no fluid. When the cord is compressed the baby is not getting enough oxygen and if the heart rate stays down too long they will deliver the baby via c-section. Judith and the baby are now being monitored for the baby's heart rate and for contractions 24 hours a day. They also do sonograms and for the baby's heart they do echocardiograms. The main problem is the development of the lungs and the birth defect.

Thanks for your prayers.

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