A Couple Receives New Hope for Their Son

While expecting their first child, Jim and Katie eagerly attended their 20-week ultrasound for a first glimpse of their baby. However, this joyous time turned somber when they learned their baby’s bones were too small. Bone measurement could be a marker for as many as 20 different diseases. To determine which one, the couple was referred to specialists in the Children’s National Division of Fetal and Transitional Medicine. Their baby could have a bone disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta. The disease can also cause a fetus’s ribs to remain underdeveloped, constricting the lungs so that once born, the baby cannot breathe on his own. The doctors at Children’s National weren’t ready to accept that prognosis. They closely monitored the baby through biweekly ultrasounds, and they created a birth plan that included having specialists present at the birth. To everyone’s relief, Samuel was born breathing on his own, with no broken bones, and went home after only two days in the hospital. Not out of the woods yet, Samuel is scheduled for a skeletal survey, his first outside the womb, to determine if he does have a bone disorder. Jim says the couple is grateful for the time that doctors at Children’s National took with them. “We would meet with these doctors for 90 minutes at a time, with two or three doctors in a room. They’d walk us through everything.” The couple is enjoying their time with their son -- time they once feared they wouldn't have.

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