A Utah woman who unexpectedly gave birth on a cruise ship months before her due date says she wrapped towels around the 1 1/2-pound boy and, with the help of medical staff, managed to keep him alive until the ship reached port.
Emily Morgan, of Ogden, said Thursday that doctors didn’t expect her son Haiden to live, but thanks to strong lungs, a makeshift incubator and an early arrival in Puerto Rico, the baby made it.
He’s now receiving care at a neonatal intensive care unit in Miami.
Morgan, 28, said the baby was due in December but contractions began August 31 during a seven-day cruise around the eastern Caribbean.
Her doctor approved the cruise to celebrate her daughter’s third birthday, Morgan said.
The pregnancy had been uneventful, so she was shocked when the contractions began just past the halfway mark in her pregnancy. She thought they might be false labor.
But she and her husband called medical staff when they saw blood.
A doctor aboard the Royal Caribbean ship told her she couldn’t give birth because they were still 14 hours from the nearest port in Puerto Rico.
But holding back wasn’t an option, Morgan said.
‘I knew the baby was coming,’ she said.
After the delivery, she said the doctors told her she had miscarried and she should get some rest, but she insisted on seeing the baby.
About 45 minutes later, medical staff said the baby had survived but wasn’t expected to live long.
‘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.”
They brought her to her newborn son, who was wrapped in towels wet from the birth. He was wearing a tiny oxygen mask on his face.