In 2016 a baby girl was born twice. Well, sort of, technically speaking she was “removed” once at sixteen weeks for fetal surgery and then put back. She was born “for real” a second time, a while later. At sixteen weeks pregnant, a Texas woman, Margaret Boemer decided to go for a routine ultrasound to see how her third child was doing. Unfortunately, doctors informed her that the unborn child had a tumor on her spine. The tumor was identified as sacrococcygeal teratoma (also called SCT) and was preventing blood from getting to the unborn child. This situation is extremely rare, but effects baby girls more than boys. More importantly, it was raising the risk of heart failure.
Doctors stated this was the most common tumor they see in a newborn and occurs in one out of ever 35,000 births. Which is why there were only a couple of options suggested to her. One was the fetal surgery, the other was to terminate. She knew without any hesitation what her choice would be and agreed to the risky procedure.
Margaret Boemer, originally pregnant with twins but lost one of them before her second trimester, was determined to give her baby a chance at life. The doctors at a Texas Children’s Hospital predicted the unborn child would have a 50% survival rate. The fetus was becoming iller each day as the tumor grew by sucking blood flow from the baby, meaning it was a competition as to who would grow faster. Doctors stated that at 23 weeks, the tumor began to shut down the baby’s heart down, causing her to go into cardiac failure. It was a choice of allowing the tumor to win and take over her body or give her a chance at life. So, with the determination of a mother’s love, she did it anyway.
LynLee, The Miracle Baby
At 23 weeks and 5 days pregnant, the baby, later named Lynlee, was removed from her mother’s womb the first time for the operation. The baby and the tumor attached to her both weighed a little over a pound. Doctors stated the tumor was so large that a “huge” incision was needed to get in, which ended up with the baby “hanging out in the air.”
During surgery, LynLee’s heart slowed down to an incredibly low rate, to the point where it basically stopped. But luckily, a heart specialist gave the mother the right medication and transfusing the right amount of fluid that allowed surgeons to continue with the surgery. The surgical team then quickly removed the bulk of the tumor and placed the baby girl back inside the womb, sewing the mother’ uterus shut after five hours.
Post-procedure, Margaret Boemer was assigned 12-week bedrest in the best interest of both her and the baby. On June 6th the baby was born via c-section. Lynlee was carried close to full term and weighed a healthy 5Ib and 5oz. Her name, LynLee Hope came from both of her grandmothers. Doctors, unfortunately, still needed to perform more surgery to remove bits of tumor that they couldn’t reach, which had begun to grow again. At eight days old, they were able to remove the rest of the tumor and she was able to recover in the NICU.
Today baby Lynlee is thriving and reaching normal milestones in her life. The Boemer family credit God for blessing them with a ‘Miracle Baby’ and they are ecstatic to see her do great things. From time to time, the family is contacted by other women who get the SCT diagnosis and reassure them that LynLee is truly a blessing.