MIAMI, Florida, Monday September 28, 2015 – “Born at sea.” That’s what doctors wrote on the birth certificate of Haiden Morgan, a one-and-a-half-pound baby who beat the odds of survival after arriving in this world on a Caribbean cruise three months before his expected birth date.
Haiden’s parents, Chase and Emily Morgan, were vacationing aboard a cruise ship when he unexpectedly made his debut. Emily was not due until December and had been given clearance by her doctor to take the seven-day trip to the Caribbean at the end of August, according to Fox 13 News.
Two days into the trip, Emily went into labour. Hours later her son was born, 15 weeks early and 14 hours away from Puerto Rico and the nearest hospital.
The Morgans left their home in Ogden, Utah, to embark on a week-long trip aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise liner in celebration of their daughter Chloe’s third birthday.
They had been at sea for just two days when Emily began having contractions and called the doctor.
“By 1:20 the doctors had come in to assess what was going on. By 1:56, Haiden was born,” Emily told Fox News by telephone from the hospital they were subsequently taken to in Miami.
Initially, doctors told the 28-year-old that she had miscarried and her baby was dead. Forty-five minutes later, they told her he had survived.
But doctors worried he wouldn’t make it. The ship wasn’t outfitted with medical equipment for premature deliveries, so Emily and the nurses improvised.
“We wrapped him up in some towels and found a sanitary napkin and we put it over his head to keep heat in and then we found some saline pouches and we put them in the microwave and I put them under his body. Kinda made a little incubator for him,” she said.
The boat arrived in Puerto Rico two hours early, as black spots began to appear on Haiden’s fingers, indicating that his circulation was starting to fade.
The Morgans stayed in Puerto Rico for three days until a medical jet could fly them to Miami Children’s Hospital, where they’ve been for the past several weeks. Haiden is reportedly stable; his lungs are developed, but the “micro-preemie” has good days and bad days.
“His hands are the size of a quarter, his foot is the size of your pinkie, and length of his body is the length of a dollar bill,” his mother said.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) September 25, 2015
The outpouring of support she’s received on behalf of Haiden has been touching.
“He`s definitely developed a huge family all across the United States. I can`t tell you how many people have called and just said we`re praying for him,” she said.
Royal Caribbean Cruises confirmed to ABC News that on September 1, 2015, a guest on the Independence of the Seas had gone into labour.
“The guest gave birth to a baby boy in the ship’s medical facility,” the company said. “In order to provide mother and child with additional and urgent medical attention, the ship altered its course and sailed full speed to the closest port of call, San Juan, Puerto, Rico.
“While in route to San Juan, the ship’s medical team worked tirelessly to provide medical care to both mother and child. We wish our guest and her baby much health and happiness.”
Baby Haiden is expected to be hospitalized until his December 19 due date, according to ABC.