This page is dedicated to our son Cameron Eugene Groumoutis who left us on May 24, 1999.  Cameron was born with a neural tube defect called Anencephaly.  Anencephaly is a birth defect that happens before the twenty-sixth day of gestation.  In that period of time the skull does not finish fusing together, which leaves the brain undeveloped and exposed.  In most cases the infant is still born or dies within several days of birth.  The frequency of Anencephaly has decreased in the last two decades but there is a 1/1,000 chance of having an infant with Anencephaly today.  After having an infant with Anencephaly the recurrence rate increases 4%.  The proper amount of folic acid in a womans diet can help prevent birth defects.  These are some of the facts that we have found that helped us learn about Anencephaly.
           After our first year of marriage we decided to start our family.  It took us six months to get pregnant.  On January 2, 1999 we was happy to find out that we was pregnant.  We immediatly scheduled a prenatal appointment with our doctor.  We was offered a Alpha-Feto-Protein (AFP) test but we declined thinking we could deal with any problems that our baby might have.  Our doctor said that the AFP test was not 100% accurate and if the results came up with anything wrong we would then need to have a Amniocentesis which can cause a miscarriage.  We didn't want to take any chances of losing our baby because if there was anything wrong time would tell.  We left the doctors
office feeling very confident that there wasn't any problems.  My husband is in the Navy and was scheduled to leave for a six month deployment on March 24th.  Everything seemed perfectly fine, we had even planned for my husband to be back home in time for the birth of our first child.  I then went to Indiana to stay with my family and I scheduled my fifth month prenatal visit.  Ont hat visit to the doctor I asked for an ultrasound to determine the sex and send a video to my husband who was over seas.  The ultrasound technician was able to tell me that it was a boy, but the babies head was measuring to small, so I made an appointment with a specialist the following week.  I got an ultra sound done again and was told by the doctor that our baby had a fatal birth defect called Anencephaly.  I couldn't belive that our little baby wouldn't grow up to do everything that we had wished for.  I contacted the American Red Cross so that they could let my husband know exactly what was going on and so that they could send him home.  He arrived home within two days from the Adriatic Sea.  We then had to make the decision when to go to the hospital to induce labor.  This decision was not an easy one to make.  It was hard for us to belive this was all happening because Cameron was moving alot.  We went to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on May 23rd.  The hospital had extrordinary nurses that treated us outstanding.  We was given the choice of outfits, blankets, and a memory folder, all madeto the size for premature babies.  On May 24th, 11:17 am Cameron was born 1 lb. 4 oz. 12 1/2 inches long  with a head full of dark hair and a beating heart.  Though it only beat for 1 and a half hours.  He was a very strong willed little boy.  The doctors and nurses were amazed by the amount of hair he had.  Cameron indeed had Ancephaly.  Fortunately the opening in his skull was only the size of a dime.  We was allowed to dress and hold him for as long as we wanted.  We also took many pictures and had his baptism put on video.  The nurse did moldings and prints of his hands and feet for us.  We went home that same night and my mother and father drove Cameron to the funeral home.  On May 26th we layed Cameron down to rest with his Great Grandfather.  There is no getting over Cameron but we are definately not afraid of trying to give him a little brother or sister.
Updated 7-19-2000
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