Baby born ‘transparent’ at 22 weeks has now said first words
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A baby who was deemed not viable when he was born ‘transparent’ at 22 weeks has said his first words.
Eli James, who is now a year old, was born in March 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada weighing only 1lb 3oz.
He was so premature that his parents, Paloma Aguila, 34, who is originally from Mexico, and her husband, Eliesar, a business owner, 45, were prepared for the worst.
Mum Paloma, who also has three older children, recalled Eli’s difficult start in life, explaining: "We had an ultrasound one Friday when I was 22 weeks and one day pregnant, and everything appeared normal.
"Then my water broke that Friday evening, at midnight, and early Saturday morning, I went to the hospital.
"When I arrived, they told me that I was 3 centimetres dilated and that the baby was not viable.”
The best advice medics could give Paloma was to attempt to delay her pregnancy, but she already had Chorioamnionitis, an infection of the placenta, that was putting both their lives in danger.
"They brought in a team of specialists, and it was ultimately agreed upon that I should stay in the hospital as long as possible on bedrest.
"But they made it very clear, because I already had an infection, that if that infection progressed, they would stop monitoring the baby.
"At that point, they would just be about saving me."
While Paloma did try to delay her pregnancy, Eli entered the world sooner rather than later and did so that Sunday at 11:30 pm, less than two days after her water broke.
The situation had deteriorated by then to the point where Eli had been disconnected from the monitors as Paloma's infection had progressed, as feared, into bacteremia - when bacteria gets into a person's bloodstream - which resulted in a fever.
"But thankfully, when Eli was born, he was trying to breathe on his own," she said.
"I did get an ultrasound before this. The doctor stepped aside and said, 'He's practising breathing in there, you can see it, and that's very rare for his gestation.'"
Eli was so small that his arm was the size of Paloma's finger and she could see right through his body, which was so tiny that medics attempted to use the smallest needle in the country to treat him.
She explained: "When I saw him, it was scary.
"But I always have faith. I had faith that if he made it this far, that he was strong."
And Eli has since gone from strength to strength following his difficult entrance to the world.
Paloma, who is a stay-at-home mum, said: "He's starting to walk right now, and he's saying his first words - Dadda was the first. Everyone has been surprised with his progress.
"While he's a little smaller than most one-year-olds, he is catching up quite fast."
Paloma said the only sign of Eli's difficult start in life are small scars on his body, but apart from that, he is a completely healthy baby.