WSVN -- Starting a family was not easy for Carla Pearson. She went through rounds of in vitro fertilization to have her beautiful daughter.
Carla Pearson: "It was always real hard for me to get pregnant. My daughter was my third try with in vitro."
So, she was shocked and thrilled when she found out she was pregnant on her own with her second child. A baby boy.
Carla Pearson: "I felt like I had my complete family. I didn't care if it was a boy or girl, as long as it was healthy."
But, when Carla went in for a regular check-up at 14 weeks a frightening picture emerged on the sonogram. Her baby was developing abnormally with an enlarged bladder.
Carla Pearson: "You could see the head his body, and like another head. I mean it was amazing the size of the bladder, how distended it was."
Her baby had what's called a bladder obstruction.
Dr. Ruben Quintero, Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine, UM Jackson: "Bladder obstruction is a condition where the baby can not urinate in the womb, because there is a blockage to the outflow of urine."
If it's not treated before the baby is born it can be deadly.
Dr. Ruben Quintero: "The babies typically die after birth from damage to the kidneys or from lack of lung development."
Carla Pearson: "It was very devastating, but I was ready to take control and you know save my baby."
That's when she found fetal surgeon Ruben Quintero at UM Jackson. He's developed a breakthrough device that lets him treat bladder obstruction while babies are still in the womb.
Dr. Ruben Quintero: "We go in with an ultrasound through the mother's abdomen, through the baby's abdomen, into the bladder. We look at the obstruction, with the camera, and then we put in the catheter."
The catheter is used to properly drain the developing infant's kidneys.
Dr. Ruben Quintero: "Although we are not eliminating the obstruction we can almost guarantee now that the bladder will be drained for the remainder of the pregnancy, thus saving the baby's life."
Unlike other catheters in the past, this one won't fall out and can not be pulled out by the baby.
It's removed after the baby is born and then the baby has surgery to fix the blockage in the bladder. Carla was relieved that the surgery was successful for her son, Andre.
Carla Pearson: "I believe this surgery saved my son's life, and if it wasn't for that he would have died."
Andre was born healthy and now the whole family is enjoying spoiling him rotten.
Carla Pearson: "I believe he is my miracle baby."
Diana Diaz: "Dr. Quintero has performed six of these surgeries since the fall; all have been successful."