Pictures: Premature baby born still in its sac

Pictures: Premature baby born still in its sac

RAELIN gave birth to her baby boy in just 14 minutes in her car.

I rubbed his face, then he moved his hands and feet, and I knew he was fine.

Raelin presumed she was having Braxton hicks – it didn’t cross her mind that she could possibly be going into actual labour at 29 weeks and four days.
Raelin presumed she was having Braxton hicks – it didn’t cross her mind that she could possibly be going into actual labour at 29 weeks and four days. Supplied

Raelin presumed she was having Braxton hicks - it didn't cross her mind that she could possibly be going into actual labour at 29 weeks and four days.

"But they started to get closer together and more intense," the 23-year-old tells Kidspot.

"So I decided to go in. I live about 15 minutes from the hospital But I had to drop my daughter off to her godmother which added about five minutes."

Raelin was only 29 weeks pregnant.
Raelin was only 29 weeks pregnant. Leesa Smith

The now mum-of-two, from Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, didn't think for a second this slight diversion would be a problem.

"My fiancé Ean was driving and the contractions were getting worse so I called 911. The dispatcher couldn't understand me so I handed the phone to Ean," she explains.

Meanwhile, Ean was driving like a professional racing car driver.

"He drove the wrong way in the bus lane because there was traffic. There were no buses coming so he got in the bus lane to make it to the hospital faster."

And then Raelin realised that she was out of time - this baby was coming right now whether she liked it not.

"I felt the baby in the birth canal and knew it was time. So I pulled my pants off and reached down and felt his head. I pushed one time and he slid out. That's when I realised he was still in this sac."

They left their house at 11.14am and dropped their daughter off at 11.22am and Ean Jr - known as EJ - was born at 11:28am

"I knew with him being so early he probably wouldn't be able to breathe on his own and that he was safe in there so I didn't disturb it," Raelin says.

"At first the baby wasn't moving - then I rubbed his face with my finger and he brought his hands and feet to cover his face and I knew he was fine."

They made it to the hospital just seven minutes later.

"I stayed in the car and my Ean went in for help. No-one was coming until the security guard walked past and saw me with the baby - then he called a code. That's when Ean snapped this amazing photo," she says.

"I looked up a second later and the car was swarmed with doctors. The first one I saw was a doctor that I worked with and he grabbed the baby and broke his sac right outside in front of the hospital. He cried immediately. Then they took him to the NICU.

"Once the doctors took him from me I actually got out of the car and tried to follow them but one of the doctors pushed me back into the car and made me wait for a stretcher."

Six-year-old Amya saying hi to her baby bro.
Six-year-old Amya saying hi to her baby bro. Leesa Smith

She admits to having no idea at first that the baby was coming out so quickly.

"I was telling my Ean through the contractions that I couldn't wait to get my epidural that people who go through child birth natural are nuts -not knowing I was so close to having him."

The entire medical team were all absolutely amazed to see little EJ still inside the sac.

"And then I told them he was only 29 weeks and they were even more amazed. None of the doctors had ever seen a completely en caul birth delivered vaginally - they are usually by C- section," she says.

"When the office called the code it went over the whole hospital. So EJ is very well known in NICU!

"The doctor had to go inside and clear the lobby before they took us inside because everyone was there trying to see what was going on."

It took a while for the shock to subside and for Raelin to take in the full extent of what had just happened.

"It was about two hours before I finally realised what happened and what was going on. Then I cried for a while. I was sad at first when I realised I was leaving and my baby wasn't going home with me but it gets better," she says.

"But I was also thankful because I knew had he not been born in the sac he probably wouldn't have lived."

One very happy family!
One very happy family! Leesa Smith

"Doctors are still completely shocked with how much progress he's made with how early he was. He's already gained 13oz (368 grams). He is a little character."

The tough little fella won't be going home until closer to his due date of October 18.

"The earliest will be 35 weeks - he's 32 weeks now. It's rough - but he's doing so amazing," she says.

"The hospital also has a camera above his bed. So we can watch him when we can't be at the hospital which makes things a lot easier."

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