Catalina Camia,USA TODAY
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler announced Monday she gave birth earlier this month to a daughter, and the baby is believed by her doctors to be the first to survive a diagnosis that had been considered fatal.
Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., announced on Facebook and her office website that Abigail Rose Beutler was born two weeks ago at Emanuel Legacy Hospital in Portland, Ore. The child was born prematurely, at 28 weeks, and weighed 2 lbs, 12 oz.
Since then, Abigail and the Beutlers have been through an ordeal that is hard to fathom. When the baby was 16 hours old, Abigail traveled to California so she could have surgery at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University and then undergo dialysis.
"She is active, stable and breathing on her own," Herrera Beutler said. "As far as every doctor we've spoken with knows, Abigail is the first baby with bilateral renal agenesis to breathe sustainably on her own."
Bilateral renal agenesis is a condition in which one or both kidneys fail to develop. It is a cause of a disease known as Potter's sequence or Potter's syndrome, a kidney abnormality that is often fatal. In this case, there was no amniotic fluid in the womb, which is critical to the baby's lung development.
"Multiple doctors explained that based on medical evidence her condition was incompatible with life and that, if she survived to term, she would be unable to breathe and live only moments after birth," Herrera Beutler said.
The congresswoman detailed how she was injected with saline in the womb so the baby's lungs could have a chance to develop. Herrera Beutler is said to be doing well and looking after Abigail.
"We have every expectation that she will lead a full and healthy life," Herrera Beutler said.