Congresswoman Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) announced the birth of her daughter on Facebook Monday; Abigail Rose Beutler was supposed to die just moments after birth but is now two weeks old.
Last June, LifeNews reported Beutler’s post on Facebook that her unborn child had been diagnosed with Potter’s syndrome, a condition that prevents the child’s kidneys from developing properly. The disorder is typically fatal for the baby.
“We have had a second opinion and the medical diagnosis was consistent with the initial news: there is no medical solution available to us,” Beutler wrote. “We are praying for a miracle.”
In Potter’s syndrome, the unborn baby has an atypical physical appearance resulting from a decrease in amniotic fluid volume that leads to developmental problems. Babies with Potter’s syndrome typically die within a couple of days after birth.
While many offered Beutler and her husband their support, sadly, some used the announcement as an opportunity to encourage abortion.
In Monday’s Facebook post, however, Beutler wrote:
With great joy, gratitude and hope, we are pleased to share with you the news of the birth of our daughter, Abigail Rose Beutler, on Monday, July 15 at 3:13 AM at Emanuel Legacy hospital in Portland. She weighed two pounds, twelve ounces and was only 28 weeks along. She is every bit a miracle.
A few weeks ago, we shared the news of her diagnosis of Potter’s Sequence. In Abigail’s case, Potter’s was caused by bilateral renal agenesis. The condition caused a complete absence of amniotic fluid, critical for lung development in the womb. Multiple doctors explained that based on medical evidence her condition was incompatible with life and that, if she survived to term, she would be unable to breathe and live only moments after birth. We were also told that dialysis or transplant were not possible. The options we were offered were termination or “expectant management,” that is, waiting for her to die. Instead, we chose to pray earnestly for a miracle. Many of you joined us.
Beutler said that she and her husband found a group of doctors at Johns Hopkins who tried a simple but unproven treatment by amnioinfusion. Every week for five weeks, doctors injected saline into the uterus to give Abigail’s lungs a chance to develop.
“With each infusion we watched via ultrasound as Abigail responded to the fluid by moving, swallowing and ‘practice breathing,'” Beutler wrote.
Over the course of the treatment, Beutler said Abigail’s head and chest reformed to their proper size and shape. Her feet, which were clubbed in early ultrasounds, ultimately straightened.
“There was no way to know if this treatment would be effective or to track lung development, but with hearts full of hope, we put our trust in the Lord and continued to pray for a miracle,” wrote Beutler.
Within a day following the fifth saline infusion, Beutler went in to pre-term labor, and Abigail arrived. Miraculously, the baby drew a breath and cried, indicating that her lungs were well-developed for a baby born so early.
Doctors next addressed Abigail’s lack of kidney function. A team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California performed the surgery necessary so that Abigail could begin dialysis.
“Although Abigail will need ongoing care after she comes home,” Beutler wrote, “we have every expectation that she will lead a full and healthy life.”
Beutler concluded, “We are grateful to the doctors and nurses in Baltimore, Vancouver, Portland, and California who, like us, were not willing to accept the fatal diagnosis, but were willing to fight for the impossible.”