My husband, Chad, and I were so thrilled to learn the sex of our 5th child, but when the image on the screen caused the technician to fall silent, that excitement quickly changed to fear. The ultrasound revealed a grapefruit-sized mass, called a Sacrococcygeal Teratoma (SCT), on our daughter’s tailbone. This type of rare tumor, present in only 1 of 35,000 pregnancies, was drawing on her blood supply and would ultimately lead to heart failure.
Our baby’s odds of survival were less than 10%. We were completely heartbroken.
Our best hope was a surgery available at Texas Children’s Fetal Center. Unfortunately, only a few operations of its kind had ever been performed or even been successful, but we were determined to do whatever it took.
On February 28, 2008, surgeons opened my stomach, partially removed my 25-week-old daughter, and cut away most of the tumor in a single 4-hour procedure.
Ten weeks after the surgery, our sweet daughter Macie Hope McCartney made her 2nd appearance into the world, this time via C-section. Weighing in at 6 lbs, 1 oz., Macie was a healthy baby girl.
It was no coincidence we gave her the middle name of Hope.
Macie was discharged from Texas Children’s Hospital in June 2008 and joined our 4 other children at home in Laredo, Texas. Besides the small scar on her tailbone, Macie shows no signs or indications that she endured such a life-threatening experience.
She is a thriving, playful 4 year old, and we are grateful for every day with our miracle little girl.