Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trisomy 18

My sister is pregnant with a baby that has Trisomy 18. 

Many people do not know what this disorder is, so I decided to write a post about it. 

What is Trisomy 18 also known as Edwards Syndrome?

At conception, 23 chromosomes from the father and 23 chromosomes from the mother combine to create a baby with a set of 46 chromosomes in each cell. A trisomy occurs when a baby has three number eighteen chromosomes instead of the normal two.

It is a chromosomal defect that happens in one our of every 3,000 births. This does not count for miscarriages or still births. Many miscarriages or still births are thought to be Trisomy 13 or 18 related.

Only 10% of children with Trisomy 18 survive past their first birthday. There is that 10% that have gone on to reach milestones that many thought that they never could. They do have developmental delays and physical defects. They need to live with an assisted caregiver.

Diagnosis of Trisomy 18

An Ultrasound and AFP {also known as triple screen test} can show concerning problems. They will not diagnose Trisomy 18.

CVS {also known as Chorionic Villi Sampling} and an Amniocentesis can determine Trisomy 18. It is important to know that these test's do have a low risk of miscarriage. 

How to Cope With Trisomy 18
  • It is important to know that every case is different. 
  • Read about other people that have coped with a child that had Trisomy 18.
  • Talk to a Genetic councilor and a Pediatrician. Make sure you are on the same page as they are with care.
  • Know that it is ok to grieve before the baby is even born.
  • You can read more on the Trisomy 18 Foundation and Support Organization for Trisomy 13 and 18 {SOFT}.  
  • Contact Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. They are a Non-Profit Organization that has volunteer photographers that will donate their time and money to come take photo's of babies that may not live long. Part of their mission is to help families grieve.

I'm hoping that everything turns out as it should. My sister's baby is due on my birthday, June 21. His name is one that I picked out, Emmerson. My sister and my mom are rare carriers of Trisomy 18. Whenever I watch this video I cry:


Jill Smith said...

My heart goes out to your sister. I've been down that path and know how difficult it is. When I first started learning a out t18, all I found was heartbreaking information. After a while, though, stories of hope began to emerge, and I held on tightly to them. My daughter, Lily, will be two years old tomorrow, and without the loving support of other moms going through the same thing, I think my journey would have been unbearable. I hope your sister has reached out to others. There are wonderful groups on Facebook and the Internet. Blogs are helpful, too. Lily's is There you will find her story and a list of others--survivors and angels--that you can share with her. My prayers go out to you and your family.

Petula said...

I started out reading at your pregnant brain post and learned of your sister's upcoming delivery. I can only imagine the "distraction" such knowledge would cause in your day-to-day life. I agree with you regarding being there for family and your/their new baby. I pray that you all will find comfort, peace and joy through this.

Thank you for sharing about your sister and for teaching me about t18. The videos were very touching and amazing. God gives some of us such strength and as a result we receive such blessings.

Love{&}Bugs said...

I'm so sorry to hear about baby Emmerson's condition. That breaks my heart. I did a project on Trisomy 18 when I was in nursing school. Such a heartbreaking thing to go through. Prayers for your family!

Shanda said...

Oh, my heart goes out to your family. May they take comfort in knowing there was no child more loved in his time on earth. I will continue to pray. Going to follow your blog so I will keep up to date with news and know how to pray.
I'm sorry

Chintan said...

May god bless the child and the family...prayers.

Christine said...

I think I watched too many of those videos. I can't stop crying. I honestly don't know what to say.