“He has taught us so much already! We are blessed to have Augustinas in our family.”

When my pregnancy reached eighteen weeks, we had an ultrasound that resulted in Patau syndrome as my son’s diagnosis. I was told that there was a huge possibility of miscarriage. Our doctor of genetics let me know that the best option would be to terminate the pregnancy. However, I knew from the very beginning that I would never terminate my pregnancy no matter what happened; it was God who gave me this precious life, therefore it was God who would terminate it at the right time. I had to sign a document that even though I knew the diagnosis of T13, I chose to continue carrying my child.

Even though I was also told about the sad statistics of the born children with T13, somehow in my heart I felt that there was a very strong baby growing in my womb. I felt his movements very early and they were quite strong and I felt them very often during the day and night. Days and weeks went by and on the ninth of July, I felt that the baby wanted to see this world. I gave birth at 2 o'clock in the morning on July 10, 2020, (total of 38 weeks and 4 days).

The baby was born crying and his Apgar scale showed a grade of 9-10. He had a cleft lip, defect of palate, extra fingers on both hands, dysplasia and no hearing. The only major problem of the baby was constipation of meconium, which he managed after three enemas. After one month in the hospital we came home.

When he was about two and a half months old, he was diagnosed with epilepsy, which is currently managed with the drug VIGABATRIN. On the 14th of January he had cleft lip surgery. His palate surgery is expected to be at one and a half years old. On the 27th of January he was also diagnosed with glaucoma and the doctor prescribed some gel drops into the eyes. We will see the eye doctor after two weeks and determine what kind of cure will be needed further. In a month we will see our ear doctor again to see if his hearing is still the same.

Augustinas is still able to drink my breastmilk from a bottle. Today is the 28th of January 2021, and Augustinas already has two teeth. As he has successfully recovered from cleft lip surgery, I will try today to give him some solid food, banana or steamed potato.

Our Augustine is so loved by his two older brothers (Adomas nine years old and Saulius five years old). He has taught us so much already! We are blessed to have Augustinas in our family. I just pray to God every day that we would learn how to truly love and cherish our children from all our hearts, mind and soul.

Written by: Aurelija Berankiene, Augustinas’s mom