*A pregnant Utah woman got the surprise of a lifetime while she was on her seven-day Caribbean cruise: the baby she didn’t expect until December came on August 31. And the baby is doing just fine!
Emily Morgan’s doctor had given her permission to travel because she was having an uneventful pregnancy. She and her husband were taking the cruise to celebrate the birthday of their three year old daughter. But Morgan started to feel labor pains, which the couple initially thought was false labor.
But when they saw blood they knew medical attention was necessary and called onboard medical staff.
The Royal Caribbean cruise ship doctors had low expectations that Morgans son, Haiden, would live. They were still 14-hours away from the nearest docking port, Puerto Rico, and told the mother to try her best to hold on, and not have the baby yet.
But that was easier said than done. “I knew the baby was coming,” Morgan said.
But the baby’s lungs were strong and everyone did what they had to do to support his life including creating a makeshift incubator.
Still, it was touch-and-go. Morgan had initially been told that she had miscarried, but the mother insisted on seeing the baby.
About 45 minutes later, medical staff said her son had survived but wasn’t expected to live long. They brought her the baby, wrapped in towels wet from the birth.
“He was crying, like a little feeble cry,” Morgan said. Along with his healthy pink coloring, it was a positive sign that his lungs were relatively strong.
But Dr. Bradley Yoder, a medical director of the newborn intensive care unit at the University of Utah said a baby born so early and so far from a hospital has a less than 10 percent chance of survival.
“I’m surprised the baby survived, to be honest,” Yoder said.
The new mother jumped into action. Instructing the staff on how she wanted her baby to be cared for. She had them wrap the little boy in fresh, dry towels and even helped staff members tuck microwaved saline packets around him to create the makeshift incubator.
The captain went into overdrive too. Bringing the ship into the port in Puerto Rico about two hours earlier than expected. Two ambulances rushed the family to a hospital, and they were transferred to a children’s hospital in Miami a few days later.
Now little Haiden is in Miami, being cared for at a neonatal intensive care unit.
Read what Royal Caribbean had to say in a statement here.