Saturday, February 11, 2006
A lovely, heart-warming piece of news
Three-foot-tall mom with genetic disease gives birth to healthy boy!
Eloysa and Roy Vasquez gazed down at their healthy newborn son Thursday in the neonatal ward at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, their beaming faces a reminder that every birth is a miracle.
The genetic disease makes Eloysa Vasquez's bones so brittle that a muscle move could break them. She weighs 37 pounds and has depended on a wheelchair since she was 10. Fewer than 50,000 people in the United States live with her disease.
And after two first-term miscarriages, the Vasquezes knew the odds were long for them to one day embrace Timothy. Only one out of every 25,000 deliveries involves a mom with OI, and far fewer involve moms with the severe type 3 version.
Obstetrician James Smith advised her of the dangers. ``She had no ambivalence,'' he said.
Vasquez's small stomach meant doctors had to carefully balance nutrition to keep her and the developing baby fed. Her full-size uterus expanded properly to hold her growing child, but after eight months her lungs became so compressed she could hardly breathe.
Pregnancy hormones softened her pelvis, necessary for a traditional delivery, but exactly the wrong thing for someone with fragile bones.
So mothers with OI must deliver by C-section, which means blood loss. The typical amount of blood loss would have been the equivalent of half Vasquez's circulating blood supply. So doctors prepared for that, too.
Eloysa Vasquez spent the last three months of her pregnancy at Packard. It was much easier than making the 10-hour drive twice a month from her home in the Central Valley.
She managed to gain 20 pounds, the weight gain recommended for a woman of taller stature but more than half Eloysa's normal body weight.
Finally, at 32 weeks, her doctor decided Timothy could hold his own.
And on Jan. 24, Vasquez was able to cradle all 3 pounds and 11 ounces of her long-awaited son. He filled her whole lap.
Timothy's parents, married for 2 1/2 years, have known each other since childhood.
``She's smart -- and a wonderful person,'' said Roy Vasquez, a salesman who stands 5 feet 8 inches.
``And he makes me laugh!'' said Eloysa, who praised her husband's good heart.
Roy Vasquez comes from a family of 16 children, so diapers are no big deal. He has other things on his mind as Timothy's father.
His son was born on the 24th -- the car number for NASCAR great Jeff Gordon, and therefore an auspicious day for racing devotees like Vasquez. ``The first event he'll be going to,'' Vasquez said of Timothy, ``is a NASCAR event in June.''