Trisomy 18 - Edward's Syndrome
What is Trisomy 18?
Trisomy 18 or Edward's Syndrome is a relatively common syndrome caused by the presence of an extra number 18 chromosome, which leads to multiple
abnormalities including severe mental retardation, digestive problems, heart failure, renal failure, respiratory failure, blindness, deafness and
extreme physical limitations.
Infants often have a low birth weight, a small, abnormally shaped head; a small jaw and mouth, clenched fists with overlapping fingers, severe
heart defects, and renal abnormalities. Approximately 95% of fetus' with trisomy 18 are miscarried or stillborn. Most children born with this
defect die within their first month. The high mortality rate is usually due to the presence of cardiac, renal malformations, and feeding problems.
For more information on this disorder please visit:
Genetic Home Referrence U.S. National Library of Medicine
Trisomy 18 Org. Trisomy 18 Foundation
MedlinePlus A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine from the National Institutes of Health
Mothers tell their stories...
I told her how sorry I was and that I loved her and did not want her to suffer. I would rather suffer every day for the rest
of my life than to allow her to suffer one moment in life.
~Mom of an Angel
Everything was going great. As already having two "normal" pregnancies under my belt, I felt confident. I knew there
was always that chance of hearing bad news but I said "no, not me, not our baby."
We felt that if our daughter had been in a car accident and was on life support with the same internal injuries, we would
not keep her on life support and let her suffer. This child deserved the same dignity."
~ A grieving mom
I initially thought I would "be brave" and continue my pregnancy. But I came to realize that ultimately it wasn't about
how strong I could be, how deeply I wanted this baby or what important lessons he could teach me. It was about what
he would experience in his short life. Given his diagnosis, he would have known only suffering. As his mother, I
couldn't allow that to happen.
~ A mother at peace
It was our ignorance for believing that all pregnancies led to a healthy baby. It was my arrogance for believing that since
I had the best medical care, took prenatal vitamins even before and during my pregnancy, never took drugs, never smoked
cigarettes and drank about half a glass of wine a year, that our baby would be safe.
~A bereaved mother
A mother will stop at nothing, including her own hurt, both mentally and physically, to protect her child.