A mother is calling her baby a ‘miracle’ after she went into labour at twenty-three weeks and successfully delivered her infant at only 13 ounces.
Ellonn Smartt, who hails from Des Moines, Iowa, wasn’t supposed to go into labour until November. So, she wasn’t sure what to expect when her water broke earlier this month. The mom-to-be and her boyfriend, Jordan Morrow, rushed to the Iowa Methodist Medical Center where doctors explained that their baby’s chances of survival were slim.
“They said I was going to have to deliver in the next day or two and there was a good chance he wouldn’t survive,” Smartt told Today. “That was the moment when I fell apart. I was heartbroken.” But, despite the devastating news, Smartt says that she tried her best to remain calm for the sake of her baby. “I knew if I panicked, the baby would pick up on that and get stressed," she said. "I couldn't let that happen."
On July 11th, doctors performed an emergency C-section on Smartt. The procedure was a success and her baby, son Jaden Wesley Morrow, was born fighting. The infant weighed only 13 ounces, whereas the average birth weight for a baby born at full-term is 7 pounds, 6 ounces. “His arms and toes were moving and he was trying to breathe on his own,” Smartt told the media outlet. “He’s our little miracle.”
After the delivery, baby Jaden was transferred to the NICU at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. His parents said he’ll remain there until roughly his November 6th due date. From the sounds of it, the little one has been doing amazingly since the transfer.
“For most part, Jaden is stable,” Smartt said. “He’s on a ventilator and had a small infection, but his doctors think he looks great. He’s getting breast milk and gaining weight.”
The new parents just can’t wait until the day they can bring their bundle of joy home with them. Smartt is counting down the days until Jaden sleeps in his own crib. “I have moments where I get sad because I want him home with me," Smartt added. "But I am staying positive for Jaden.”
However, baby Jaden may not be out of the woods yet. Premature infants are at risk for a variety of health issues, both in infancy and later on in life.
According to March of Dimes, preemies are more likely to develop intestinal issues, infections, vision problems, hearing loss, and dental problems. Premature birth has also been linked to issues with brain development, which can lead to learning and communication problems later on.
Early intervention services and programs, which are often free and state-funded, are necessary to help premature babies thrive as they grow up. From the sounds of it, Jaden is already doing better than expected. He literally entered the world fighting!