Dad Shane said: “At (Rachael’s) first scan, eight weeks, there was just this little blip near where his belly was.
“The doctors noticed it but you’d never have seen it if you didn’t know what you were looking for.
“Obviously they know what they’re doing but I’d have never seen it if they hadn’t pointed it out.”
He added: “The pregnancy was the most stressful time, we seemed to spend most of our time at the hospital, but the staff were great.
“She had scans as much as three times a week towards the end, and to be honest I did think at some points during the pregnancy that he might not make it.
“Right from the eight week scan we’ve had it hanging over our heads, after having the first scan and then finding out the bad news, it was just so stressful.”
Despite the stress of daily hospital visits and worry for their son’s health, Rachael and Shane have channelled their stress into raising awareness of gastroschisis.
Shane added: “When we were told the news, a woman who saw us obviously looking upset in the hallway at the hospital took us to a consultation room and explained the condition to us.
“We didn’t know much about it, and to be honest we’re still learning, but it’s been a lot to get our heads around and Rachael has been suffering with depression too.”
The couple launched a Facebook support group for other parents of children born with gastrochisis and are also planning a charity skydive to raise money for Alder Hey, who have treated Charlie.