Tammy Gonzalez, from Miami, Florida, was undergoing a mundane ultrasound when doctors supposedly found what looked like a giant bubble being blown just above the baby's mouth.
"Is that on me or the baby?" Gonzalez asked the doctor. But what looked like a cute happenstance, turned out to be an expecting mother's worst nightmare.
After further examination, the doctors realized the amorphous bubble was something called a teratoma. Teratomas are extremely rare tumors that affect roughly 1 in every 100,000 births and can be fatal, according to Diply.
Gonzalez' doctors reportedly suggested she terminate the pregnancy lest she face a possible miscarriage. But the mother-to-be refused, asserting that something could be done to save her unborn child.
"They told me that type of tumor can grow so fast," Gonzalez told ABC News. "I said, 'There must be something we can do.'"
Auspiciously, she came across something called endoscopic surgery, a technique that had never been previously attempted in this type of case. "Let's do this," was her response to the dangerous procedure.
Dr. Ruben Quintero, director of the Fetal Therapy Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, executed the surgery. He twisted a tiny camera and surgical tools through a quarter-inch slit in Gonzalez's abdomen and into the amniotic sac.
Gonzalez was awake during the entire surgery.
"I couldn't feel the incision because of the local anesthetic, but I could feel the tube going into the sac," she said. "It felt like a popping balloon."
The camera reportedly permitted Quintero to view the tumor up close and evaluate the risk of removing it.
"It was a decisive moment," the doctor said. "We went ahead and cut the stem, and sure enough the tumor fell right out."
Gonzalez said she was overcome with relief once the tumor was cut off. "It was amazing," she added. "It was like a 500-ton weight lifted off of me."
The tumor was too large to remove through the amniotic cell sac, so it lingered on in the womb until the actual birth four months later. By that time it had shriveled significantly.
"She's perfectly fine," Gonzalez said of her daughter Leyna. "She has a tiny scar on the roof of her mouth. She talks, she drinks. She is my little miracle child."