About a month ago, I posted that my hubby’s best friend and his wife were expecting. She had her 20 week ultrasound and sonogram a few days ago. They found out they are having a girl, Audrey Hope.
But Audrey Hope will not be gracing the world with giggles, the pitter-patter of her tiny little feet, pig tails, or cute purple dresses.
The sonogram revealed that sweet little Audrey has Trisomy 18 (T18) or Edwards Syndrome.
T18 is a condition which is caused by a error in cell division, known as meiotic disjunction. It occurs in about 1 out of every 2500 pregnancies in the United States, about 1 in 6000 live births. The numbers of total births increase significantly when stillbirths are factored in that occur in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy.
Unlike Down syndrome, which also is caused by a chromosomal defect, the developmental issues caused by Trisomy 18 are associated with medical complications that are more potentially life-threatening in the early months and years of life. 50% of babies who are carried to term will be stillborn, with baby boys having higher stillbirth rate than baby girls.
Words cannot begin to express how deeply my heart hurts for the these friends, who are more like family than anything. I can’t attempt to fathom the feelings and emotions they are having right now, but I can certainly empathize.
For those of us who have been struggling to conceive, or those who have had health issues that lead them to believe conception may be nearly impossible, a tragedy such as this, is one of our biggest fears.
We hope and pray that someday we will be blessed with the opportunity to carry a child of our own, and that the child will be healthy. No matter how complicated the journey is, no one expects to get news like this.
Please take a moment to offer up a prayer, and send your love in their direction. If you feel inclined to do more, there is a donation link below. You can also visit the Facebook page that has been set up in Audrey Hope’s honor. Her mommy and daddy need all the love and financial support they can get right now.
A baby boy, Duncan Henry, was born at 2:02pm today, 09/27/2013. He is now in Heaven, with his loved ones, who have gone before him.