In 2008/2009, there were 495 diagnoses of Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18) in England and Wales, 92% of which were made prenatally. There were 339 abortions, 49 stillbirths/miscarriages/fetal deaths, 72 unknown outcomes, and 35 live births. Because approximately 3% of cases with unknown outcomes are likely to result in a live birth, the total number of live births is estimated to be 37 (2008/09 data are provisional).
Major causes of death include apnea and heart abnormalities. It is impossible to predict an exact prognosis during pregnancy or the neonatal period. Half of infants with this condition do not survive beyond the first week of life. The median lifespan is 5–15 days. About 8% of infants survive longer than 1 year. One percent of children live to age 10, typically in less severe cases of the mosaic Edwards syndrome. (edited by Beth: our little one, unfortunately, does not have mosaic Edwards syndrome.)
Parents with surviving children who take part in support groups report that these children enriched their family and their couple irrespective of the length of their lives.
I already knew the prognosis - that our baby will most likely be stillborn and if she's not, she will most likely live only a few days. But what struck me as I was reading this was that of the 495 babies in the study that were diagnosed with Trisomy 18, 339 of them were killed through abortion!
What a sad and sobering statistic. Because that last sentence in the article stated that every single person in a support group reported that their baby enriched their lives no matter how long they lived!
And just in case you were curious, enriched means:
1. To make rich or richer.
2. To make fuller, more meaningful, or more rewarding.
3. To add fertilizer to.
4. To add nutrients to
5. To add to the beauty or character of; adorn.
And I can tell you right now, this baby has already enriched us even though we have yet to meet her. Because of her, we have hundreds (or maybe more) people praying for her healing and praying for our peace and comfort!
We don't deserve all of that love and support but we are receiving it anyway and it is all because of our sweet little one. And if that's not making us richer, making us fuller, making our lives more rewarding, helping us grow or adding to the beauty of our lives - then I don't know what will!