"Your baby has hydrocephalus, a possible chromosome disorder, and what appears to be a cleft lip. We don't know what his odds for survival are."
When my friend Jen Gibson heard those words back in April of last year, her heart dropped. She and her husband Tim had known there were complications with their son Eli's development in the womb, but now their fears were confirmed.
Birth defects are more common than we think. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention report:
Every 4.5 minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect…. Birth defects are a leading cause of infant death, accounting for more than 1 of every 5 infant deaths. In addition, babies born with birth defects have a greater chance of illness and long-term disability than babies without birth defects.
Within just a few weeks of my friend learning about her son's condition, my midwife called me with sobering news: I was carrying conjoined twins, something that happens in only one of 200,000 ...1