Mother Lied to Doctors to Save Her Newborn’s Life
Modern medical technologies have greatly increased the survival rate of women and children during childbirth. In an astounding turn of events, one baby was born at 21 weeks old after her mother lied to doctors. Amillia Taylor became the youngest surviving premature baby when she was born in 2006.
37 year old Sonja Taylor had always been infertile, but she dreamed of being a mother. Sonja married her highschool sweetheart, Eddie, in 1994. The couple immediately began saving for fertility treatments. IVF treatment was very expensive, so the Taylors could not start trying until 2006. Sonja could not ovulate properly, but the Taylors hoped that IVF would provide help.
The first few tries all resulted in immediate miscarriages, and the Taylors were starting to get discouraged. One night, Eddie dreamed that they had a daughter playing on their couch. The Taylors saw the dream as a sign, and they decided to try one more time. This time, the IVF treatment worked.
Sonja was overjoyed to be pregnant, and Eddie was thrilled. To avoid having another miscarriage, she was immediately put on bed rest. When she was 19 weeks along, she discovered that she had a uterus infection. The Taylors lived in Florida, where doctors would not try saving a premature birth unless it was 24 weeks along. Because doctors thought it was impossible to save a young fetus, women can have abortions until they are 24 weeks along.
When the doctors asked how far along she was, Sonja decided to lie. At 19 weeks, she told the doctors she was almost 22 weeks along. The doctors decided to try halting the infection for just a few more weeks. They thought that if Sonja gave birth at 24 weeks, Amillia would be big enough to survive. After two more weeks, the infection was life threatening so Sonja had to stop being pregnant.
If they had known she was only 21 weeks pregnant, the doctor would have recommended an abortion. A doctor told Sonja they were only trying to save the baby because she was supposedly 24 weeks old. They decided to do an emergency C-section. Amillia was so small that the doctors had trouble finding her in the womb.
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When she was born, Amillia was only 9.5 inches long and 10 ounces in weight. She was unbelievably tiny, but the doctors were shocked to see that her heart was still functioning. The doctors worked for hours to revive and stabilize the baby. She was placed in an incubator, and the Taylors were told to expect the worst outcome. However, they decided to name her Amillia, which means “fighter” in Latin.
In the first few weeks, the Taylors were barely allowed to see their child. She was surrounded by life-support machines constantly. Amillia was so underdeveloped that her parents could see through her skin. After four months, the Taylors were finally able to take Amillia home. Doctors warned the Taylors that Amallia would most likely suffer from mental or developmental issues. However, Amillia started developing at a normal rate once her health stabilized.
Other young surviving premature babies were all born a few weeks after the 24 week cut off. For example, Melinda Guido was born at 24 weeks old and weighed 9.5 ounces. Other tiny surviving babies are a German baby born at 25 weeks, and Madeline Mann who was born at 26 weeks. All of these other record-breaking premature babies have turned into happy and healthy adults and children. If Amillia’s development is anything like their’s, she should not suffer many health problems from her early birth.