Shane Kavanagh Tremper was born on Friday, May 6, 2016. He was born on his due date - 8 pounds even and 20 inches long. Mary's pregnancy was smooth and without complication, but shortly after going into labor on Friday morning, it became clear that Baby Shane was having some difficulties. His heart rate was dropping with every contraction and the ultrasound completed that day showed swelling and fluid in his brain. Mary was transferred by ambulance from St. Vincent's Hospital to UMass Memorial Hospital where the neonatal unit was better equipped to care for the baby post-delivery. Baby Shane was born by c-section that night at 7:46pm.
After an MRI and CT Scan at UMass on Saturday morning, it was quickly decided that further testing and monitoring was needed to determine what was going on with Baby Shane, so on Sunday - Mother's Day - he was transported by the Critical Care Ambulance Team to Boston Children's Hospital NICU.
In a meeting with the Neurology and Oncology teams, Mary and Jamie learned that Baby Shane had been born with a brain tumor in the left side of his brain. The tumor had done extensive and irreparable damage to most of his brain at some point during the pregnancy.
There have been many questions that are difficult, if not impossible, to answer. Mary's pregnancy was healthy and uncomplicated, and there were no signs of the tumor at the 20 week routine ultrasound. It is extremely rare for a baby to be born with a brain tumor and for it to have caused such extensive damage so quickly. The doctors have said the tumor could likely be cancerous, but they won't/can't do a biopsy to determine for sure; even if the tumor was able to be removed, Baby Shane will still have severe developmental, motor, visual, and cognitive issues due to the damage already done before birth.
There is no telling how the tumor will play out and what will happen, nor is there an estimate for a prognosis or timeline. There will be an idea of how rapidly and aggressively the tumor is growing once a repeat comparative MRI is done in June, but doctors are unsure what will happen before that point. Until then, Mary and Jamie have decided they want to focus on maximizing Baby Shane's quality of life - to keep him comfortable, give him lots of snuggles, and to count each day with him as a blessing. The doctors are in agreement with Mary and Jamie and have done what they can to support them and their desires.
Mary and Jamie welcome their families and friends to share in their journey - to ask questions about Baby Shane's progress, to visit and meet Baby Shane (snuggles included!), and to spend some quality time with Owen. Mary and Jamie are so humbled and grateful for the outpouring of love and support from everyone, and they appreciate your prayers as they move forward one day at time with their wonderful new baby boy.