On April 10, 2013 Aubrey Elizabeth Brown grew her wings and was born sleeping. She was born at 8:33AM CST. She weighed 10 oz and was 9 inches long. She was born at 20 weeks and 5 days after two hard days of labor. Our Aubrey had a fatal birth defect known as Anencephaly. There is no cure. My full story from the time I found out she had this until she was born is here.
Anencephaly is a condition that prevents the normal development of the brain and the bones of the skull. This condition results when a structure called the neural tube fails to close during the first few weeks of embryonic development. The neural tube is a layer of cells that ultimately develops into the brain and spinal cord. Because anencephaly is caused by abnormalities of the neural tube, it is classified as a neural tube defect (NTD).
If the neural tube fails to close properly, the developing brain and spinal cord are exposed to the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus. This exposure causes the nervous system tissue to break down (degenerate). As a result, people with anencephaly are missing large parts of the brain called the cerebrum and cerebellum. These brain regions are necessary for thinking, hearing, vision, emotion, and coordinating movement. The bones of the skull are also missing or incompletely formed. Almost all babies with anencephaly die before birth or within a few hours or days after birth.
Right now, babies need all the help they can get. Premature birth affects about 450,000 babies here in the United States. We’re walking in March for Babies to get the message out about this terrible problem and you can help. Please make a secure donation to help us reach our goal. Together we can help the March of Dimes fight prematurity so more babies can get the strongest start possible. Please visit our page and donate! Every penny counts!