Baby born twice after doctors removed a tumor and returned her for birth
Three months before she was born, Lynlee Boemer was taken out of the womb to have a lifesaving operation; doctors took out a tumor in her tailbone.
During an ultrasound 16 weeks into pregnancy, mother Margaret Boemer was told something was wrong with the baby and the tumor was identified. "They saw something on the scan, and the doctor came in and told us that there was something seriously wrong with our baby and that she had a sacrococcygeal teratoma," the Texas resident told CNN.
She continued, "And it was very shocking and scary, because we didn't know what that long word meant or what diagnosis that would bring."
PHOTOS: See Lynlee and her family
This type of tumor is the most common among newborn babies -- but it is still rare according to Dr. Darrell Cass, co-director of Texas Children's Fetal Center and associate professor of surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College Medicine. The tumors occur in around one in every 35,000 births.
"And in some instances, the tumor wins and the heart just can't keep up and the heart goes into failure and the baby dies," Cass told CNN.
At 23 weeks, it became apparent that the tumor was "winning" -- so Lynlee's family decided to operate. While the surgery lasted 5 hours, Lynlee was only outside the womb for 20 minutes. Then, the doctors put her back in Margaret's uterus and sewed it up.
Margaret then gave birth at 36 weeks on June 6. At 8 days old, Lynlee was operated on again to remove the last of the tumor. Cass said, "Baby Boemer is still an infant but is doing beautiful."