Mother's instincts... are gut feelings that something isn't right!!!
Shawna ~ Momma of Hope
November 18, 2005 - 32 weeks Hope's Footprints
Two Feet and 10 Toes :)
A little over 2" from heal to big toe.
In Labor DO NOT PIN © Property of HopeAngel.org 2013
Hope Angel Footprints
Hope Angel Footprints DO NOT PIN © Property of HopeAngel.org 2013
Hope Angel Beautiful & Precious only 5 minutes oldHope Angel in Mommy's handHope Angel 
& Cuddle Cub BearHope Angel Saying Goodbye 
Moments before leaving the hospital
Poppa, Momma & Hope DO NOT PIN © Property of HopeAngel.org 2013
November 18, 2005 First Family Picture
So Happy... Words Cannot Describe
November 17, 2005 - 32 weeks Checking into Hospital
6 days of Braxton Hicks Contractions.
3 more days of contractions 10 minutes apart.
We went to our doctor and then the hospital.
Birth Defects usually result in early labor.
Four days before my 35th birthday...
My husband and I went to our 17 week prenatal appointment. For a woman my age Down Syndrome was a 1:350 risk. However, we decided against the highly recommended amniocentesis and chose to only have a second ultrasound. We knew having a baby with special needs would be a hard road to travel. But losing our baby to a miscarriage induced by amniocentesis would be 1000 times harder. We were informed the numbers of a miscarriage as a result of amniocentesis vary between 1:100 to 1:400. The large variance is due to the skill if the doctor performing it. Now, we had an excellent Doctor but... it was still too much of a risk for us. Ending the life of our unborn baby... was not an option for us.

Ironically, an amniocentesis could not be performed anyway. Because, during our ultrasound Dr. B noticed an extremely low level of amniotic fluid, properly named Oligohydramnios. This was when we learned... Down Syndrome was no longer a concern.

Our diagnosis was Classic Potter's Syndrome or Bilateral Renal Agenesis and simply stated non-development of both kidneys. A rare condition about 1:4000, would take our baby's life shortly after birth, if not sooner.

You see, amniotic fluid is created by Mommy during the first trimester. Then the baby is supposed to breath the fluid, which will develop the lungs. It then travels through the kidneys, the bladder and is urinated as new fluid. With no fluid to breath the lungs will not develop. That being said Classic Potter's Syndrome is truly a sequence of events and is occasionally referred to as Potter's Sequence.

One more thing here... Potter's Syndrome babies, usually have side effects that can be exacerbated by the size of the baby and lack of fluid, Oligohydramnios. These are clubbed limbs and flattened facial features. When we discovered this, I searched google images to find a picture. I was only able to find one Potter's Syndrome baby. So here I am trying to fill that void. I hope to ease any worries you may have about the appearance of your baby, when born.
 SO Happy to be Pregnant! DO NOT PIN © Property of HopeAngel.org 2013
August 4, 2005 - 17 weeks So Happy to be Pregnant
This picture was moments before our 2nd Ultrasound
November 18, 2005 Pictures of Hope Angel
Perfect and Beautiful
November 18, 2005 Daddy, Mommy & Hope Angel
Becoming a parent... is Amazing!!!
Daddy & Hope AngelMommy & Hope Angel
Hope Angel.... LOVE was all she ever knew!!!
DO NOT PIN © Property of HopeAngel.org 2013
12 week sonogr am picture
17 week sonogram picture DO NOT PIN © Property of HopeAngel.org 2013
June 28, 2005 - 12 weeks First Sonogram Picture
(left picture) Looking a lot like a peanut,
she is face and belly up.
&
August 4, 2005 - 17 weeks Second Sonogram Picture
(right picture) Cramped by the lack of amniotic fluid,
she is in the fetal position.






As excited as we were to be pregnant... we only shared the news with close family and friends. Originally, I wanted to wait until the end of the third month. But, we waited for the 4 month diagnostic test results. At the time, I just thought I was being neurotic.  But, on the afternoon of August 4, 2005... I realized it was Mother's instincts!













On the 9 year anniversary of the day my husband and I met...
Hope Angel our first child was born eight weeks early. It was 1:39 am on November 18, 2005. She was tall and skinny, like her Daddy. She weighed 3 pounds 14 ounces and was 17 inches long.

She had my lips and my chin. She looked exactly like I imagined her, only bigger. Her head fit in the palm of my hand and we held her for the next 15 hours... all night and into the next day.

I honestly felt like she was sleeping in my arms... and that single thought ALWAYS puts a HUGE SMILE on my face.

The worst moment of my life was saying our final goodbyes, placing her in the bassinet and leaving the hospital without her. I will never forget the hurt my heart felt.
Hope Angel 
being wrapped 
in her blanketHope Angel 
snuggly in 
Auntie Becky's 
blanket & pink hat
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Click to Read My Letter to Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler