Catholic commentary on culture, media, and politics.

Monday, June 12, 2006

It's a she.

I just checked my com box below and I'm in awe at the kind responses and promises of prayer -- so beautiful, you all have no idea. (Or maybe you have.) Wow. Thank you so very much.

We just got back from the geneticist doctor who gave us a run-down of what we might expect based on the amnio results. The visible chromosomal information seems to indicate a very rare condition that doesn't even have a name. It's a partial trisomy 9q with a parial monosomy 9p. In plain English, there is a small extra portion of chromosomal material on the ninth pair (q stands for longer arm of the chromosome) and some missing material on the shorter arm (p stands for petit, or small.) There are some physical and mental characteristics associated with this, but none of them are *always* present and too little is known about accurate percentages.

Doctors, of course, have no choice but to talk in terms of risks and chances, but I have to say it annoys me. Most doctors, including specialist, are not evil or deceptive. They do their best with what they know. But they are fallible. As in, being virtually certain yet incorrect that a baby has, say, deadly trisomy 18.

How "very rare" is this condition? Since this oddball scenario was identified in 1973 there have only been a few hundred cases. There is no known documentation that tracks how these little persons make out after infancy.

Truly, we're entering no man's land. Otherwise known as God's land. And in the field of medicine and healing, the God factor is a powerfulthing, as many of you know personally.

Big news: The sex was confirmed this morning. Normally we don't like to know until D-Day but we made an exception here. It's a girl. Her name is Naomi Rose Coffin.

We're just going to keep on keeping on with the daily prayers, giving this little girl over to the only infallible Physician, Jesus Christ, who loves her so much more than my wife and I do. Plus, I'd like to think that His vicar, John Paul the Great, is now in a good position to help us also in the work of intercession.

I'll be giving periodic updates. And I'll be blogging more frequently (not good news for some of my readers)! Thanks for being patient. Above all, I want you to know how precious your prayers are.


Anonymous joe said...


Thanks for sharing the news. Now you've got three daughters like me.

I will keep little Naomi Rose in my prayers. Great name!

8:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on your little girl with such a beautiful name!

We will keep you all in our prayers!

We know of an organization that is wonderful for helping parents help their kids whether they are dealing with small developmental issues or big ones. And, they feel as you do about the tendency of Dr.s to be grim and pessimistic--these guys are forever hopeful and determined!
Just an FYI in case you need it.

8:59 AM

Blogger Patrick said...

Thanks, Joe. Yes, blessed am I among women!

Thanks, too, anon. Will follow up. I think the main reason doctors take that approach is, if they lay on the darkness and doubt thick, then good outcomes are comforting to patients and their families. But if they sound too optimistic and things go bad, they're afraid of a) looking like Pollyana morons and b) being wrong, period.

This approach has an obvious built-in reward. They can say, Well, I did say it was bad," if their negativity is correct, and "Gee, what a marvelous surprise" if things turn out well (ie if they were dead wrong!)

9:21 AM

Blogger Dad29 said...

Our last son, (now-Saint) Maximilian Edward, was a Tri-18; he was with us long enough for Baptism and Confirmation, plus a few hours.

He will be interceding at the Throne of God for your daughter (and for you.) He seems to do very well with infants.

Pax vobiscum

10:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick -- I just checked in after a few months away from your blog -- must've been the Spirit.
I will offer up a Mass asap.
Did I tell you my hubby was confirmed? On Pentecost.
We'll both offer up a Mass...
And I have to concur with Joe -- Naomi Rose is a gorgeous name.
Clare (from AO99)

12:52 PM

Blogger Patrick said...


Is there another Clare in my life? no, there is not. I'm so happy tohear about Will's Confirmation, and also that you two are joing us in prayer for Naomi. We're in no man's land, Toto!

Great to read ya, kid.

12:14 PM


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