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Congresswoman shares photo of ‘miracle baby’

Posted at 12:23 PM, Jul 30, 2013

(CNN) — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and her husband shared a photo Tuesday of their “miracle baby,” which was born in mid-July surviving an often-fatal medical condition.

Herrera Beutler, a Washington state Republican, gave birth on July 15 to a daughter who had been diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome while still in utero. The disorder is associated with low levels of amniotic fluid, which is essential to the healthy development of a baby’s lungs.

Abigail, the daughter of Herrera Beutler and her husband, was born more than three months premature without kidneys

“When delivered pre-term at 28-weeks’ gestation in Portland, it is believed Abigail became the first baby on record with bilateral renal agenesis to breathe sustainably on her own,” the congresswoman’s office said in announcing the baby’s birth.

The couple first announced in early June that their baby was experiencing a serious medical condition in the womb.

“There is no medical solution available to us. We are praying for a miracle,” they wrote on Herrera Beutler’s Facebook page.

But in their announcement of Abigail’s birth, the couple describing finding doctors at the Johns Hopkins Hospital who administered serial amnioinfusion, which amounts to injecting a saline solution into the womb as a replacement for amniotic fluid.

“Through the outreach of a parent who had faced a similar situation, we found a group of courageous and hopeful doctors at Johns Hopkins who were willing to try a simple, but unproven treatment by amnioinfusion,” the congresswoman and her husband wrote, describing a 5-week process of undergoing the injection treatments.

Initially the lack of fluid in the womb caused “pressure on her head and chest,” though eventually they shifted into normal sizes and shapes. The statement announcing the baby’s birth didn’t specify whether those early setbacks had any other effect on the baby’s development.

“There was no way to know if this treatment would be effective or to track lung development, but with hearts full of hope, we put our trust in the Lord and continued to pray for a miracle,” they wrote.

Their daughter was born with fully intact lungs – a sign the infusions of saline solution were successful. Her lack of kidneys, however, was a serious risk, and the baby was put on dialysis at the Packard Children’s hospital at Stanford University in California.

Abigail remains at the children’s center, and Herrera Beutler’s office said “doctors are uncertain what her future holds” and that she would require continued dialysis and an eventual kidney transplant.

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