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I was 22 years old when I found out I was pregnant. It was unexpected but we were happy. When I was 13 weeks along I was having severe stomach pains and I was having trouble breathing. We ended up at the emergency room and had to wait 4 hours for an ultrasound. When we finally got to see our baby we breathed a sigh of relief, but the ultrasound tech seemed uneasy. After a few more hours waiting no doctor had come to see us we went home. The next day we got a phone call saying we needed to come back right away. I called the doctor back and they told us our baby had gastroschisis and we needed make an appointment as soon as possible. My OB made an appointment with a doctor through Tufts Hospital in Boston. They confirmed that our baby girl had gastroschisis. They kept telling us that it would be a long road and that since the baby wasn’t planned we had the option of abortion. We chose against it and after meeting with the doctors at Tufts decided we didn’t want our baby to be born there. We went to one other hospital before deciding that we wanted our baby to be born at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston and she would be transferred to Children’s Hospital in Boston right across the street. I was hospitalized twice throughout my pregnancy for high blood pressure but other than that I had a very normal pregnancy. At 32 weeks I was going in twice a week at Beth Israel and also being monitored by the surgeons at Children’s. We were told to expect to be in the hospital 6-8 weeks minimum. I found Avery’s Angels when I was researching gastroschisis. I reached out to them and right away I felt like everything was going to be okay. Many families reached out to us and it was nice talking to people who knew what we were going through. I went in for my last ultrasound at 39 weeks 6 days, we didn’t think I was going to make it that far. My youngest brother had told me from the very beginning that our baby, Hailee Grace, was going to be born late. I told him it wasn’t possible with her birth defect. My ultrasound went fine and the doctor actually wanted me to come back the following Monday, I would have been 40 weeks 2 days at that point. Just as my father and I were leaving the hospital, it went on lockdown because of the Boston bombers. The doctor said that since we weren’t going anywhere for a while we may as well have a baby. My boyfriend had to actually call the Massachusetts state police and get the okay to come into Boston because they weren’t letting anyone in or out. Hailee Grace was born two days later, 40 weeks 1 day at 9:29 in the morning weighing 7 pounds 5 ounces. We were told that just a small amount of her intestines were out but when she was born all of her small intestine, all of her large intestine, and both her ovaries were outside of her body. She was able to have a complete closure surgery at just a few hours old. At just 4 days old we were able to hold our baby for the very first time. She also graduated from the nicu and was moved to the pediatric surgeon floor. She did very well and that night she had her second poop, the first one was right after she was born. Soon after we were able I start feeds. Again, my brother told us that Hailee would be home before she turned a month old and again he was right. She came home the day before her one month birthday. Avery’s Angels sent us a care package that we were so grateful for. Just knowing that someone we hadn’t even met cared about us meant the world. I want to give people who are affected by gastroschisis that feeling. I want people to know that they aren’t alone and that there are others out there who can help them. Hailee Grace is now doing well. She’s a 14 month happy and healthy beautiful little girl. We call her our little monster..