BRIDGE CITY - A Bridge City woman wants to help other moms or women wanting to have a child to be aware of the dangers of a rare birth defect: anencephaly.
Babies born with anencephaly don't have fully formed skulls or brains. Most babies don't survive long after birth.
As Cassi Black looks through photos and ultrasounds of her late daughter, she's reminded of the choices she faced while she was pregnant.
In November, three months after conception, she learned her daughter Hailey was suffering from anencephaly. Black went into labor and learned she was anemic, iron and folic acid deficient. She was in labor for three days.
Hailey died forty minutes after being born.
"It was devastating when you finally find out you get to have your dream and you don't get to live it out, your child is going to pass, it's absolutely heartbreaking," Black said.
According to the CDC, three out of 10,000 pregnancies will have anencephaly each year in the U.S.
Besides possible changes in a baby's genes--most causes are unknown.
Dr. Brent W Bost with Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates says that this defect is rare, and even for women who have given birth to an anencephalic child, the odds of giving birth to another are low.
Dr. Bost offers one way to minimize the risk.
"Mainly its prevention in the sense of using the folic acid supplementation prior to becoming pregnant,” Dr. Bost said.
"The troubles, of course, is once you get pregnant, it's a little too late to do much with anencephaly prevention at that time," Dr. Bost said
Black claims her doctor did not inform her of these possibilities until it was too late.
Black's hope is to try to start a family and to remind others of any potential risks.
“It [the risks] won't stop me but, I'll take every precaution that I can to prevent it," Black said.
Even for Hailey who didn't live long, Black says she was glad to have time to hold her little girl.
Doctor Bost says taking folic acid or multivitamins months before becoming pregnant is the best way to minimize the risk of anencephaly.
More facts on the birth defect can be found on the CDC website.
© 2017 KBMT-TV