New Maternity Center in the TMC

Doctors, mothers and fathers gathered where a new maternity hospital will be built. Texas Children's Hospital wants to expand pediatric care to the unborn child. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker reports.

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Mother of four, Cari Griggs, has high hopes for the new Maternity Hospital. A little over a year ago, Griggs told her husband an addition to the family was on
the way.

"I had already hadξ three normal pregnancies that resulted in out healthy three children: Jackson, Lila and Johnny.ξ And we had no reason to expect that our fourth experience would be any different.ξ I was 16 weeks pregnant with Gus when an ultrasound revealed the frightening news that Gus had fluid all over his chest."ξ

The baby, Gus, was essentially drowning in the womb. Doctors had no idea why. They did two surgeries.ξ The baby was born. And ten months later Gus is healthy. Texas Children's officials want the happy ending more often.

Physician-in Chief Doctor Ralph Feigin says miscarriages and high risk pregnancies are happening more frequently today.

"Advanced maternal age, assisted reproductive technologies, multiple births, that is women carrying twins, triplets, quadruplets and beyond, and the number of number of pre-term births and low-birth weight infants are issues that challenge us to find better and more effective ways to care for women and their babies even before the babies are born."

Feigin says these are all reasons for the $575 million building.ξ

"In recent decades our ability to diagnose genetic diseases has far outstripped our ability to treat or cure those disorders."ξ

Nurses and physicians will begin deliverying babies in the new Maternity Center in 2010. Gus's mother, Cari, hopes future parents will be able to get answers when pregnancies are difficult.

"Where you are sitting and standing, babies will be saved.ξ Mothers and fathers will get answers.ξ Imagine how many fathers will hold their daughters for the first time right here.ξ Imagine how many mothers will hear their sons cry the very first time."ξ

Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.

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