Amanda and Kyle were eagerly awaiting their third child, Barrett, when Amanda’s 20-week ultrasound revealed her baby had CDH, congenital diaphragmatic hernia. To get the specialized care that Barrett needed, Amanda and Kyle were referred to the Fetal Care Center and prepared to deliver their child at the Women & Infants Center.
>> KYLE KORTE: We have two girls, Brittin and Landry.
>> AMANDA KORTE: And then we found out we were expecting Barrett, we were really excited. It took a lot of work to get him. We had to go to a specialist and took a lot of medications to be able to conceive him, so we were ecstatic.
>> KYLE: We went in for 20-week ultrasound and they seen some issues with like his diaphragm.
>> AMANDA: I'm a nurse and immediately I knew exactly what that meant.
>> DR. TASMIN NAJAF: CDH stands for congenital diaphragmatic hernia. It is a birth defect which is as common as cystic fibrosis.
>> DR. MICHAEL BEBBINGTON: Barrett had a very interesting case. The heart was more or less in the right spot, the stomach was down where it was supposed to be, but we noticed the kidney was up in the chest.
>> DR. JESSE VRECENEK: There is a hole in the muscle that separates the abdominal cavity from the chest cavity that allows things that belong in the belly to rise up and sit in the chest during the, during development.
>> DR. NAJAF: If the primary physician is concerned about congenital diaphragmatic hernia, the family gets referred to the Fetal Care Center.
>> DR. BEBBINGTON: The Fetal Care Center is a special program that is supported jointly by Barnes Jewish, by St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and by Wash U. And what it does is it brings together all the resources of three different facilities to care for families that are carrying a fetus that has an abnormality.
>> AMANDA: We knew that we would deliver in the Women and Infants Center, and then the baby would immediately be taken to the NICU.
>> DR. BEBBINGTON: Primarily what we worry about are the development of the lungs because they get compressed and they don’t develop in a normal way. When babies are born one of the biggest problems is that they can’t breathe.
>> KYLE: As soon as the baby was born, man, I got to hold him for a couple seconds and immediately they went across, over into the NICU.
>> DR. BEBBINGTON: Families just walk across a walkway to get from the postpartum floor to the NICU. So we don't have, you know, mom's delivering in one hospital, having their babies transported and ending up in another hospital that's miles away while they're trying to recover. Everything happens in one spot.
>> DR. VRECENEK: With any child CDH, you always have to be ready for the curve balls. Um, and that's why it's so important to be at a center like Saint Louis Children's Hospital where we're used to seeing this.
>> AMANDA: They did surgery when he was three days old. We didn’t know at the time, but they were dealing with a lot of issues with him during surgery. They were really reassuring to us, which, which was good because our, we were pretty anxious.
>> DR. NAJAF: I expect Barrett to do totally, completely fine. He's already awesome and he should continue to be awesome.
>> AMANDA: Barrett was in the NICU for 27 days, so when he came home, he came home on an NG tube and then we did lots and lots of therapy.
>> DR. NAJAF: The clinic will continue to work with their local pediatrician to keep an eye on his growth and development.
>> AMANDA: My hope for Barrett is just that he grows up a normal baby just is able to do things that the other kids can do and, and he doesn't let anything hold him back and he knows that, we prayed for him so much, and that he's so loved.
>> KYLE: You know in our eyes, he’s perfect. We couldn’t be more blessed.