Talk about a fighter! A Utah mom delivered a 1-pound baby four months early while enjoying a cruise around the Caribbean with her husband and 3-year-old daughter. And as if that wasn’t a harrowing enough experience, the medical team told her that she miscarried — when that wasn’t the case at all.
Emily Morgan got the OK from her doctor to go on vacation with her family to celebrate her toddler’s birthday. Her due date, after all, was in December. However, on Aug. 31, when she was in the middle of the Caribbean and 14 hours away from land, she began to feel contractions. Morgan’s husband notified the medical team after his wife began seeing blood. She wound up delivering the baby, but doctors told her the baby wasn’t expected to survive very long and that she should get some rest.
Hearing none of that, Morgan followed her mama’s instinct and insisted on seeing her baby, who she named Haiden. “I had felt him kicking. I felt the process of him getting bigger,” she said. “I said, ‘I’m going to see him. I don’t care if he’s alive or if he’s dead.”‘ When she was brought to her tiny baby, he had a small oxygen mask around his face and was crying a “tiny feeble cry,” according to Morgan. As time went on, she insisted the baby be wrapped in dry, fresh towels to keep him warm. She even helped the staff tuck microwaved saline packets around the baby’s body to create a makeshift incubator. A sanitary napkin was used to keep his head warm, and everyone tried to avoid touching his sensitive skin.
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And you know what happened? The baby survived! The ship reached land just as black spots were starting to form on poor Haiden’s skin, which were an indication that his circulation was starting to fade. Morgan and the rest of her family were rushed to a hospital, and a few days later, Haiden was transferred to a children’s hospital in Miami, where he currently remains and continues to make progress. The family hopes to return home to Utah at the end of October. Morgan calls him a miracle baby — and who can argue with that?
Miraculousness of this story and little Haiden’s survival aside, it has to be noted that it’s pretty disturbing and unsettling that the medical staff told Morgan her baby wasn’t going to survive and that she should “get some rest.” Thank goodness Morgan insisted on seeing her son — otherwise, who knows what would have happened?
Having a child as premature as Morgan — and having a preemie on a cruise ship — no doubt is a terrifying experience, but fortunately the survival rate for these sweet babies is so much better than it was in the past. In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that the survival rate for immature babies has slowly been increasing over the last 20 years.
From 2009 to 2012, the survival rate for preemies increased from 27 percent to 33 percent for infants who were born at 23 weeks, and went from from 63 percent to 65 percent for babies born at 24 weeks. There were also smaller increases in survival rates for infants born at 25 and 27 weeks, but no change for those born at 22, 26 and 28 weeks. These positive numbers have to do with an increase in the number of doctor interventions. More moms in preterm labor are now receiving steroids, which can result in lung maturity for babies, and there also have been more respiratory interventions in these cases as well.
This of course is great news for moms, but for Morgan, who says she had an uneventful pregnancy and who was so far away from a hospital after Haiden was born, that wasn’t the case at all. Dr. Bradley Yoder, medical director of the newborn intensive care unit at the University of Utah, told Fox News that Haiden had a less than 10 percent chance of surviving due to his circumstances and the fact that he couldn’t be whisked off to the NICU right away. “I’m surprised the baby survived, to be honest,” Dr. Yoder said.
So, yeah. It’s safe to say that this little guy is a miracle baby — and from the sound of things, he couldn’t have done it without his unbelievable mama. Amazing.