By Maureen Simoncini
When I was 18 weeks pregnant my husband, Kenny, and I went in for a routine ultrasound. We were excited to find out if I was carrying a boy or a girl, but we found out much more than that. The ultrasound revealed that I was having a boy, but he would be born with a serious medical condition called an omphalocele. (It’s a birth defect where the baby’s intestine or other organs stick out of the belly button. In many cases only a thin layer of tissue covers the intestines.)
Once it was established that our baby had an omphalocele, we were transferred to a doctor at our local hospital who specialized in high-risk pregnancies. It soon became clear that our case was severe—on more than one occasion we were told that our baby’s chances of survival were minimal at best.
But no matter how grim the news, Kenny and I said we were going to have the baby no matter what, termination simply wasn’t an option. It was then that I began looking for a second opinion, which led us to Boston Children’s Hospital. …