When Baylee was 19 weeks pregnant, she settled in for her anatomy scan with optimism. All of her prenatal screenings had come back normal, including the maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein blood test, which can signal possible neural tube defects.
But just seconds into the ultrasound, the technician’s demeanor changed. She noticed enlarged ventricles and a lesion in the baby’s spine. It appeared to be spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal column doesn’t form properly, leaving a section of spinal cord and nerves exposed through an opening in the back.
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Baylee and Louis have their hands full with two children under the age of 2, and they’re grateful for every second. Thanks to fetal surgery for spina bifida at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), their 6-month-old daughter Mason is hitting all of her developmental milestones and bringing joy to her family.
“Every pediatrician she sees says she’s not only surpassing every milestone, such as making eye contact and opening her hands, but if they did not know she had spina bifida, they would have no idea,” Baylee says.