Since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago, pregnant women and young mothers have had hard times to keep themselves and their newborns safe from the virus. While hospitals were working with limited resources for non-Covid patients and they were exposed to a high risk with every single hospital visit, the safety of the Covid-19 vaccines was yet another huge problem for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers in deciding whether they should get immunized against Covid-19.
A 23-year-old woman, a mother-to-be, didn’t have any of the above-mentioned problems, but she and her husband faced even more serious issue in March when they were told that their unborn son suffers from a serious disease, a spina bifida, a congenital defect that adversely affects a fetus’ spinal cord during gestation and can lead to learning and developmental disabilities and paralysis. According to data provided by the CDC, every year roughly 1,400 babies are born with spina bifida in America.
In March, the 23-year-old mom-to-be Jaiden had a prenatal anatomy scan and she was just 18 weeks pregnant when doctors at a local clinic discovered that her unborn son had spina bifida. Understandably, Jaiden and her fiancé Noah were left speechless as they were told by the doctors their first child ‘would be born brain dead and would have no chance at leading a quality life.’ The young woman explained what she went through in a TikTok video which can be seen below the article.
“I was in shock. I couldn’t even speak when the doctor was telling us this,” recalled Jaiden. “I remember saying to myself, ‘This isn’t real, this isn’t happening,” she said, adding that the physicians encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy. “It was a nightmare.”
The couple, however, decided to ask for a second opinion and they took a several-hour drive to another hospital, specialized in treating such kind of cases. When they initially visited the W. P. Hospital for women and babies, a specialist informed the couple there is hope for their unborn if the mother would be able to undergo a cutting-edge surgery to repair his spine while he was still gestating.
That particular hospital is one among the 12 facilities across the country that perform such surgeries and only several hundred pregnant women annually are able to undergo the fetal surgery because the operation is very complicated and tough for both the mothers and the unborn babies. Fortunately for the Fla. couple, the results of the tests have showed that Jaiden and the unborn son are capable of withstanding the surgery.
Month and a half after the initial diagnosis, Jaiden went under the knife becoming only the 31st pregnant woman ever to have the surgery at the hospital. Last Wednesday, doctors made a cesarean incision along her stomach, broke her water and successfully repaired the sizable lesion. Then, doctors put the baby inside her womb for another eleven weeks. The baby is expected to develop enough for an actual C-section delivery at 37 weeks.
The surgery lasted a total of six hours, but everything went well for both Jaiden and the baby. Days after the surgery, the mom-to-be says she feels that her baby is already improving, something that was confirmed by the doctors who noticed much more baby movements and signs of any malformation in his brain are reversing. Doctors expect that after the surgery, Jaiden’s son to have almost no issues walking, but he will definitely need constant therapy until 18 years old.
After giving birth to her son once, Jaiden says she is ready to give birth to him once again in 11 weeks. This is the video she shared on TikTok:
Reply to @alexxhailey open fetal surgery explained ♥️ sorry i look so rough I’m still on the hospital! #openfetalsurgery #spinabifida #fetalsurgery #LENOVOJUSTBEYOU