Human Interest

Born 16 weeks premature at a pound, Amina just celebrated her first birthday

A premature baby is being hailed as a miracle after surviving being born 16 weeks early, at just 24 weeks of pregnancy. Taylor Dobson’s daughter Amina had a heart defect and a brain bleed, and weighed just 1lb, 10oz at birth, yet she still was able to go home with her parents to Chicago just 10 weeks later. To help her grow, doctors used something that most people have stocked in their kitchen pantries — something that has helped many other preemies: a plastic sandwich bag.

Dobson had an incompetent cervix, and went into premature labor. “The night before Amina was born I was admitted to the labour ward and told that I was having contractions, but that they would try to stop them by using magnesium for the next 24 hours,” she told the Sun. “They assured me that it should stop the labour process from happening. I was admitted around 5pm and my contractions kept getting closer and closer all night long. By 9am my doctor came in and did an ultrasound of Amina saying that she was actually kicking herself out of my cervix. They told me I had an infection and that she needed to be delivered via emergency c-section immediately or she was at risk of catching it too.”

Amina was born without making a sound, with Dobson praying she would survive. Doctors immediately took her to the NICU, hooking her up to wires and breathing tubes — and they also came up with an inventive way to keep her alive. “She was placed in the plastic sandwich bag to keep her warm because it helps mimic the mum’s womb,” Dobson explained.

READ: Baby born at 23 weeks inspires parents to ask that abortion limit be lowered

For the first three days, she wasn’t able to hold or even touch her daughter, but on the fourth day, she could finally hold her baby girl. “It was the most amazing feeling in the world,” she said. “Amina spent five days intubated with a ventilator before moving to a CPAP breathing machine. After she was on CPAP, I was able to hold her and do skin-to-skin every day. I would make sure I came to the hospital at least two, sometimes three or four, times a day. Amina did amazingly well in her first few days – they call it the ‘honeymoon stage’ where things can appear really good, then go bad.”

Though Amina had a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a valve in the heart that won’t close, and a brain bleed at birth, both healed on their own. Once she was able to eat and breathe on her own, a month before her due date, she was finally able to go home, weighing just over 3lbs. And since then, she’s been doing amazingly well. “Since she’s been home she has thrived in every single way possible,” Dobson said. “Amina no longer needs to see a cardiologist, optimologist, or any speciality doctors. She is now almost one and healthy as can be.”

In many states, it’s perfectly legal for babies to be victimized by abortion at 24 weeks gestation, when Amina was born. But these are human beings, who are alive and capable of surviving outside the womb, and they deserve to be given the right to live.

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