When Charlotte first received an omphalocele diagnosis, her parents didn’t know it’s severity. After one of the longest months of their lives, they got some good news. Maternal fetal medicine specialists at the Colorado Fetal Care Center diagnosed Charlotte with an isolated omphalocele, meaning a small part of her intestine was growing outside her abdomen but it wasn’t affecting other organs.
I was diagnosed with fetomaternal alloimmunization, a condition in which a mother’s body creates antibodies against a fetus’ blood antigens. This diagnosis crushed us. My husband and I wanted a lot of children, and now we were left wondering whether we could even have a second.
Hydrops fetalis is a serious condition that affects about 1 in 1,700 pregnancies. For many families, answers about why this condition occurs have been in short supply because the cause is often not identified through standard testing.
“The doctor came in and handed me a box of tissues,” Katie recalls. “She was saying something about an abnormal pregnancy, shunts, abnormalities of the left leg, club foot. I was in complete shock at that point, and I couldn’t really make out what she was saying because it felt like time was suspended.”
In a span of two hours, their lives had been turned upside down.