Meet the Miracle Baby Who Was Born Twice

Meet the baby who was born twiceMeet the baby who was born twice

Posted by CNN International on Friday, October 21, 2016

Usually a routine ultrasound at 16 weeks into a pregnancy is thrilling for a parent. Not only will they get to see their baby’s heartbeat and maybe see him or her moving around, they might also possibly learn baby’s gender at that time. Margaret Boemer, already a mom of two older kids, went into the 16-week ultrasound for her 3rd child a little nervous, however. You see, the pregnancy had started out as twins, but she’d lost one of them. Sadly, there was more bad news to come.

In an interview with Texas Children’s Hospital, Margaret describes the outcome of that ultrasound:

“They saw something on the scan, and the doctor came in and told us that there was something seriously wrong with our baby and that she had a sacrococcygeal teratoma,” she said. “And it was very shocking and scary, because we didn’t know what that long word meant or what diagnosis that would bring.”

A sacrococcygeal teratoma is a tumor that develops before birth and grows on a baby’s coccyx, or tailbone. It occurs in about 1 out of 35,000 live births.

“This is the most common tumor we see in a newborn,” said Dr. Darrell Cass, co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Center and associate professor of surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College Medicine. “Even though it’s the most common we see, it’s still pretty rare.”

Over the next couple of weeks, the tumor began to take over the tiny baby’s body as she lay in her mother’s womb. Dr. Cass explained that the tumor was stealing the baby’s bloody supply, and that her chances of survival were slim.

Doctors advised Boemer to terminate the pregnancy, but she was not ready to give up on her baby girl. Fortunately, the doctors at Texas Children’s Fetal Center offered her another choice: surgery on the baby, partially removing her from Boemer’s womb, removing the tumor, and then putting her back safely into her mother’s womb.

It was an easy decision for Boemer. She says, “At 23 weeks, the tumor was shutting her heart down and causing her to go into cardiac failure, so it was a choice of allowing the tumor to take over her body or giving her a chance at life. It was an easy decision for us: We wanted to give her life.”

So, at 23 weeks and 5 days, Dr. Cass performed a surgery on the baby girl, whom her parent had named LynLee Hope. By now, the tumor was almost larger than the baby herself. In fact, the tumor was so large that they had to completely remove LynLee from the womb, which they usually don’t do. She was “hanging out in the air… Essentially, the fetus is outside, like completely out, all the amniotic fluid falls out, it’s actually fairly dramatic,” said Cass.

He credits a heart specialist with keeping LynLee alive during the procedure, which, on the baby, is only about 20 minutes long. He said the bulk of the 5 hour procedure is taking care of the mother and making sure the uterus is sewed back shut very tightly so that the baby can continue to grow.

Doctors were able to remove most of the tumor, and LynLee Hope and her mom recovered well. LynLee stayed snug and safe inside her mother’s womb for another 12 weeks, making it to full-term, before she was delivered on June 6, 2016, via c-section, weighing 5 pounds 5 ounces. At 8 days old she had another surgery to remove the rest of the tumor. 4 months later, she is a happy, healthy baby girl.

Photo: Screen shot, CNN

Her mom says going through the emotional and physical turmoil of the pregnancy and two surgeries on her own body was “worth every pain”—and I am sure she must be SO glad that she made the choice to give LynLee that chance at life! I know God must have really big plans for this tough little girl!

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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.