We were at the pedia's clinic yesterday for Gab's first IPD shot. The doctor's clinic sched starts at 10 in the morning. We normally leave the house around the same time when we're scheduled for a check up so that we don't have to wait for long. It was very unusual that yesterday, the pedia was late. We actually had to wait for a couple of hours before Gab received the injection.
When we entered the clinic, our pedia apologized and informed us that they have a very difficult case that's why he was late. He told us to be very thankful that our baby is normal and healthy. The patient that he was referring to when he said they have a difficult case was born without skin! He said they could literally see the baby’s veins. There's blood all over the body. He mentioned the name of the abnormality but I was too disturbed imagining a picture of the poor baby. The doctor said it’s a very very rare case that it was the first time he saw one. He said that he studied medicine and finished his specialization but he never has seen a case like that except in books and pictures. It was the 10th birth the mother has delivered and it’s the 5th case, all the first four babies with the said condition died. Our pedia told us that the mother was already hopeless and she already requested to be discharged because the experience is way too stressful for her and the entire family. The mother was advised to undergo ligation already since it was the fifth time they had that problem.
Until now, I still feel sad about the story. I tried to search its name but found many others listed as birth defects. It breaks my heart to think that there are babies born suffering from such conditions.
I read some more and found the following info from http://kidshealth.org
Most babies with birth defects are born to two parents with no obvious health problems or risk factors. A woman can do everything her doctor recommends to deliver a healthy child and still have a baby with a birth defect.In fact, according to the March of Dimes, about 60% of birth defects have unknown causes. The rest are caused by environmental or genetic factors, or some combination of the two.Genetics play a role in some birth defects. Every cell in the body has chromosomes containing genes that determine a person's unique characteristics. One missing or faulty gene can cause a birth defect; this is significant when you consider that we each have about 25,000 genes per cell determining everything from the length of our toes to the color of our eyes.
Where do the faulty genes come from? A child inherits one of each pair of chromosomes (and one of each pair of the genes they contain) from each parent. Sometimes, a disease or defect can occur if only one parent passes along the gene for that disease (even though the child receives a normal gene from the other parent); this is called dominant inheritance and includes birth defects such as achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism) and Marfan syndrome (a disorder characterized by abnormally long fingers, arms, and legs).Some birth defects occur only when both parents (who are healthy) each pass along a faulty gene for the same disease to the child; this is called recessive inheritance and includes conditions such as Tay-Sachs disease or cystic fibrosis.Finally, some boys inherit disorders from genes passed on to them by their mothers. These defects, which include conditions such as hemophilia and color-blindness, are called X-linked because the genes are carried on the X chromosome. Because males have only the one X chromosome they receive from their mothers (females have two X chromosomes — one from each parent), a faulty gene on the X chromosome they receive will cause a problem because they don't have a normal copy of the gene on the other X chromosome that females have.The number or structure of chromosomes can also cause birth defects. An error during the formation of an egg or sperm can cause a baby to be born with too few or too many chromosomes, or with a damaged chromosome. Birth defects caused by chromosome problems include Down syndrome. The risk of this type of birth defect often increases with the age of the mother.
Environmental causes of birth defects have more to do with the mother's health and exposure to chemicals or diseases. When a mother has certain infections, such as rubella, during pregnancy, it can cause birth defects. Alcohol abuse by the mother causes fetal alcohol syndrome, and certain medications taken by the mother can cause birth defects.
Multifactorial birth defects are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and include neural tube defects and cleft lip and palate.
Although you can take steps to prevent birth defects, a birth defect can happen even if you or your partner have no history of birth defects in your families or if you've had healthy children in the past.
There are factors that can be controlled by the mother and the people around her. It’s sad to hear about those stories. It breaks my heart to imagine how their moms feel.
To those who plan to have babies, prepare yourselves and avoid the factors that lead to those sad problems.
It’s very rewarding and satisfying to play the role of a parent. I think the role starts with us moms taking care of ourselves before conception.
I wish all moms will hear their pedia telling them to be thankful for a healthy and normal baby. I’m thankful I did.