Charity Lincoln Gutierrez-Vazquez delivered her daughter Alora at the same hospital where she and her sister were born – the UW Medicine Center in Seattle, Washington, – on Aug. 12, 2021.
“I’ve never experienced anything like becoming a mom,” Gutierrez-Vazquez told FOX News.
Gutierrez-Vazquez, 21, chose to deliver at the UW Medical Center when the facility became highly recommended by Dr. John H.T. Waldhausen – the head surgeon who led the separation surgery from her twin.
Waldhausen separated Gutierrez-Vazquez and her sister Kathleen Lincoln seven months after their birth, according to UW Medicine’s press release. Lincoln also survived the procedure.
Gutierrez-Vazquez and Lincoln were joined at the sternum (the chest bone between the ribs) and shared several internal organs intertwined in their abdomens, according to UW Medicine. “Each child had her own pelvis, but their pelvic rings were open and fused,” the facility wrote on its website regarding the twins’ medical history.
The surgery was done at the Seattle Children’s Hospital in the fall of 2000, where Gutierrez-Vazquez and Lincoln underwent a 31-hour surgery under the care of Waldhausen and his team of diverse surgeons and medical experts.
Charity Lincoln Gutierrez-Vazquez delivered her daughter Alora at the UW Medicine Center on Aug. 12, 2021, at 9:03 a.m. (Photo courtesy of Charity Lincoln Gutierrez-Vazquez)
When Waldhausen learned of Gutierrez-Vazquez’s pregnancy, he recommended his colleague Dr. Edith Y. Cheng, who is a UW Medicine obstetrician that has experience with high-risk pregnancies.
“I’m thankful to have been in her and the whole medical team’s care during this whole process,” Gutierrez-Vazquez told Fox News.
Cheng closely monitored and consulted up to 15 specialists on her care team to ensure Gutierrez-Vazquez’s reconstructed abdomen could safely support the birth of her child.
Gutierrez-Vazquez’s delivered baby Alora via cesarean section after nearly 34 weeks of pregnancy and had no complications, according to the UW Medical Center.
“It couldn’t have gone any better for Charity and her baby Alora,” Cheng said in a statement to the UW Medical Center.
She went on, “I felt a huge responsibility and honor to deliver Charity’s baby. I learn so much from my patients and this was one of my highlights that will stay with me forever.”
Gutierrez-Vazquez told FOX News she’s looking forward to introducing her daughter to the rest of her family.
“My family has not met Alora yet, but they are very excited to,” she said. “Kathleen loves being an aunt and she is really happy to have another niece to love on.”
The new mom of one added, “Ruben and I are so proud to be Alora’s parents and can’t wait for everyone to meet her. We are so thankful to have been in such amazing care by my doctors and nurses at UW.”