You hear the term “miracle baby” here and there, but few deserve that title more than baby Abigail Rose Beutler. The girl, who was born to Jaime Herrera Butler, a U.S. representative from Washington, and her husband, Daniel, is doing well despite the fact that doctors told the parents their baby would most definitely die.
The baby was diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome, a condition where there is no amniotic fluid that is crucial for kidney and lung development, while in utero. The couple were going in for a routine ultrasound, even debating whether to find out whether their baby was a boy or a girl, when their whole world was rocked.
“It is the worst moment in your life,” Congresswoman Beutler told Savannah Guthrie in an interview on the TODAY show on Friday.
“He was looking at us, he was telling us 'your baby has no options.' It’s incompatible with life, it’s terminal. And at that moment, she was moving. She was moving in me, and he is telling me she’s not going to live,” she recalled with emotion. “It was an amazing reality check.”
The parents did not accept the diagnosis and sought other opinions until they found a doctor at Johns Hopkins who was willing to do a series of “unusual prenatal treatments.” These treatments included a series of saline injections into Jaime’s womb to replace the missing amniotic fluid.
The treatment worked, and while Abigail will need to have to have a kidney transplant and is currently undergoing peritoneal dialysis, she’s doing surprisingly well.
“She is doing amazing,” Jaime said. “In the last couple of days, we got to the point where we’re holding her. She’s playing. She will scream when her diaper is dirty. She is like any other baby. She has a few challenges, but man, she’s determined.”
When Savannah asked Daniel whether the message is that no one should simply accept a diagnosis like that, he said that most parents will go above and beyond when it comes to their children.
“There are no guaranteed solutions and there’s no necessarily magical cures, certainly for (Potter’s Syndrome), but don’t be satisfied with one opinion because there are a lot of intelligent doctors with different perspectives and experiences and opinions, so work to find one who will partner with you to find anything possible,” Daniel said.
What both Jaime and Daniel really want is for this option to become part of the conversation when other couples receive a similar diagnosis.
It’s certainly wonderful to start the week with such an uplifting story, and we wish baby Abigail and her family nothing but the best.
Were you given a grim prognosis during your pregnancy? What did you do?