According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 33 babies are born with a major birth defect in the United States.
For Morgan Kennedy she thought she had the "perfect pregnancy." During the nine months, Morgan went in for routine ultrasounds and adopted healthy behaviors to increase her chances of having a healthy pregnancy. But, little did she know, things would soon change after delivery.
"He was wheeled into the room, and the pediatrician didn't actually tell us until that night just based on features and different characteristics that he portrayed. We got the diagnosis that he had down syndrome and a PDA, which is a heart defect as well," says Morgan.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart defects are the most common birth defects. They occur in about 1 in every 100 births in the U.S. each year. While about 6,000 babies in the country are born with down syndrome.
"There are unforeseen problems under the best of circumstances with a totally healthy mom who had prenatal care. There are a lot of things that, you know, are unforeseen," says Trinity Medical of Newborn ICU director, Linda Zak.
Morgan delivered Sawyer on October 30, 2013 at Trinity Hospital in Minot. And, after her worst nightmare became reality, the family began to cope with their son's diagnosis.
"It's just really hard because, you envision this perfect little baby, your son, and you have all these hopes and dreams for him. And then you get this diagnosis of down syndrome and it kind of throws you for a loop," says Morgan.
"We were in the hospital for awhile, so it was just really hard. We had to stay in the NICU for a couple of weeks. We were pretty emotional about it, you know, just trying to swallow the pill of this really happening," says Thomas.
As time passes, things have slowly improved for Kennedy family. Sawyer is now 10 weeks old and visits the Denver Children's Hospital for routine visits with specialty doctors. While things haven't gotten easier, the Kennedy family says they're just trying to take it one day at a time.
"We waited so long for this and it's just great. I mean, parenthood is wonderful even with this diagnosis," says Morgan. "So, we're embracing it all and trying to give him the best life possible."
Thomas says, "It's a ton of joy. I couldn't imagine having life without him."
While not all birth defects can be prevented, woman can increase their chances of having a healthy pregnancy by adopting healthy behaviors, such as not drinking alcohol or smoking, eating healthy, managing current health conditions, and taking prenatal vitamins.
Sunday, March 9 2014 12:06 AM EST2014-03-09 05:06:58 GMT
The Century Patriots took home 1st place overall in the Swim and Dive State event finishing with 349 points. Followed by Minot with 323 points. North Fargo took home 3rd place overall at 297 points. West
The Century Patriots took home 1st place overall in the Swim and Dive State event finishing with 349 points.
Sunday, March 9 2014 12:04 AM EST2014-03-09 05:04:37 GMT
The West Region Class A boys and girls basketball season concluded play today, and the state qualifiers are set. On the girls side Bismarck High won the tournament with a 64 to 61 win over Century. Both
The West Region Class A boys and girls basketball season concluded play today, and the state qualifiers are set.
Sunday, March 9 2014 12:04 AM EST2014-03-09 05:04:04 GMT
The Class B Boys season wrapped up the state tournament tonight in Grand Forks. Fargo Oak Groves defeated Rugby 68 to 58 in overtime fashion. North Star defeated the Lions from Linton-HMB 60 to 49 in the
The Class B Boys season wrapped up the state tournament tonight in Grand Forks.
Sunday, March 9 2014 12:00 AM EST2014-03-09 05:00:06 GMT
Chair-lifts were packed and tube runs were full, as hundreds of families enjoyed a day at the Bottineau Winter Park. But Saturday was no ordinary day in the Turtle Mountains. It's was the grand opening
Saturday was no ordinary day in the Turtle Mountains. It's was the grand opening of Annie's House, a new ski-lodge and adaptive center.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>
NBC North Dakota News has launched a new channel -- Me-TV North Dakota! If you love the classics, Me-TV North Dakota has them.
NBC North Dakota News has launched a new channel -- Me-TV North Dakota! If you love the classics, Me-TV North Dakota has them. Me-TV North Dakota will also play a replay on the Evening and Night Report at 11:30pm Monday-Friday. As well as, local news and weather updates throughout the day.