Representative Jaimie Herrera Beutler (R, Washington) was already defying the odds by the simple fact of her pregnancy—she's only the fifth woman ever to give birth while serving in Congress. Little Abigail Rose Beutler's rare medical condition, though, made Herrara Beutler's successful pregnancy and delivery on July 15 downright miraculous.
In June, Abigail was diagnosed with Potter's syndrome while still in the womb. The often-fatal condition happens when amniotic fluid levels are insufficient, and leads to underdeveloped lungs and kidneys. After the diagnoses, she and her husband wrote, “There is no medical solution available to us. We are praying for a miracle.” Despite the odds that the pregnancy would result in a stillbirth, they made the decision to continue—and found their miracle in the form of weekly saline injections into the womb, which helped Abigail's lungs develop.
After five weeks and five injections, Herrera Buetler went into labor about two months early. Abigail was born at 2 pounds, 12 ounces, and drew a breath and started crying right after she was born. “After a few minutes, it was clear that her lungs were very well developed for a baby born so early. The infusions had stopped the Potter’s Sequence,” wrote Herrera Beutler. Abigail will need continuing medical care including dialysis and, eventually, a kidney transplant, but for now, her parents are simply basking in their little miracle.