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Expecting Mother Goes In For A Checkup - What Doctors Find Makes Her Heart Sink

There's nothing more exciting for a mother than going for that first ultrasound. When a family planned a baby and is expecting, it's a momentous occasion.

You can find out your child's sex, and get a confirmation that everything is healthy. One mom was delighted to find out she was having a girl, but unfortunately, she didn't get that confirmation of health that she had hoped for.
 
Tammy Gonzalez went for an ultrasound when pregnant with her baby girl. As the technician got a clear picture, a look of horror came over her face. Gonzalez became worried and tried to make out what she was seeing on the screen. There seemed to be some kind of large, round shape coming off her baby's face.
 

"Is that on me or the baby?" Gonzalez asked, looking at the strange image. It almost looked like the baby was blowing a bubble.
 
It turns out that it was on the baby, growing out of her soft palate. The mass was confirmed to be a teratoma, a large tumor made of different types of tissue combined. It was about the size of a peach, and growing.
 
"They told me that type of tumor can grow so fast," said Gonzalez. "I said, 'there must be something we can do.'"
 
Gonzalez was 17 weeks pregnant, so the doctors suggested terminating the pregnancy. If she didn't, they believed a miscarriage would be inevitable. Gonzalez was devastated.
 

That's when another doctor came forward and offered a ray of hope. There was a small possibility they could perform surgery on the baby inside of the womb. It would be risky, but if it went well, the baby would have a good chance of survival.
 
Gonzalez didn't hesitate. "I said, 'I want to do this,'" Gonzalez said. "Let's do this."
 
Dr. Ruben Quintero, director of the Fetal Therapy Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, performed endoscopic surgery on the fetus. The procedure involved slipping a tiny camera and surgical instruments through a 1/4-inch incision in Gonzalez's abdomen and amniotic sac.
 

"I couldn't feel the incision because of the local anesthetic, but I could feel the tube going into the sac," said Gonzalez. "It felt like a popping balloon."
 
Quintero had to examine the baby with the small camera and decide where, and if, to make an incision. The baby's life was hanging in the balance. "We went ahead and cut the stem, and sure enough the tumor fell right out."
 
Gonzalez watched on the monitor, and watching that little lump float up and away from her daughter's face helped a huge burden rise off her shoulders. "'It was amazing," she said, still shaking and tearing. "It was like a 500-ton weight lifted off of me."
 

Gonzalez ended up giving birth to a healthy baby girl. Leyna is now four years old, and save for a tiny scar on the roof of her mouth, she's perfectly fine.
 
Gonzalez recently reunited with Dr. Quintero and wanted to thank him again. "It was very emotional... he is lifesaver."
 
Quintero says that the mother deserves credit, too. "She's grateful that we offered her this chance," he said. "But we couldn't have offered her the chance if she hadn't had the courage."

Source: ABC News
Photos: Jackson Memorial Hospital via ABC News, Cathy Yeulet/123RF Stock Photo, Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami via The Guardian, NBC 6

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