How a One-Pound Baby Born at Sea Was Kept Alive

Baby boy Haiden reached port just in time
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2015 7:33 AM CDT
In this Sept. 4, 2015, photo provided by Emily Morgan, a medical flight prepares to leave San Juan in Puerto Rico as Morgan's newborn baby is transported on the way to Miami.   (Emily Morgan via AP)
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(Newser) – Utah's Emily Morgan and her husband, Chase, thought a seven-day Royal Caribbean cruise around the eastern Caribbean would be a relaxing way to celebrate their 3-year-old daughter's birthday, reports NPR. Morgan, 28, was still months away from her Dec. 19 due date, but during their second night on board on Aug. 31, she began to have what she thought were false labor pains. Then she saw blood, reports the AP. The doctor told her "keep your legs closed, don't push because we are not porting for another 14 hours," Morgan tells KSL. "And I said, 'I am pushing because this baby is coming, I know!'" Sure enough, 30 minutes after the doctor's warning she delivered a tiny baby boy named Haiden, weighing just 1 pound, 8 ounces—and medical staff told her he was dead and wouldn't let her see him.

But "about 45 minutes after I had delivered, the two doctors came back in and said the baby was still alive; however, they didn't expect him to live very long." Medical staff gave the "micro-preemie" a tiny oxygen mask and his parents helped wrap him in towels and heated saline packets while the ship's captain raced toward Puerto Rico. The ship arrived in San Juan two hours ahead of schedule, and KSL reports that likely saved Haiden's life. Black spots were appearing on his fingers, per the AP, indicating he was losing circulation. After three days he was transferred to Miami, where he's expected to be hospitalized until his due date. "His lungs were fully developed, so his prognosis is good," says Morgan. Still, "on a daily basis they tell us he's a miracle baby." Indeed, a doctor tells the AP Haiden's chance of survival was likely less than 10%. (This baby was born with a shrapnel wound.)

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