Texas: ‘Miraculous’ Baby Born 18 Weeks Early Home for the Holidays

Tiny baby's hand touches mother's.
Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

A Houston infant who was born weighing 1 lb. 9 oz. and measuring 11 inches long is being called a “miracle” baby.

Jimena “JC” Macias was due to arrive in September, but her mother, Juana Gallegos, went into labor on April 29 when she was only 22 weeks pregnant.

“They pretty much told me they weren’t going to be able to resuscitate her or be able to do anything for her if she was born there, at that time, that early,” Gallegos said, according to WCNC News.

But Gallegos was transferred to Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center, with its Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

When JC was born, she was placed on a ventilator to assist with breathing and received nutrition through an IV in her umbilical cord.

“On day one, day two, day 30…I didn’t think it would be possible to spend the holidays together,” said Juana. “God had other plans.”

Her daughter was discharged after spending 112 days in the NICU, in time for Thanksgiving.

While JC still requires physical therapy, the physicians treating her are thrilled with her progress.

“While I wish this story would happen with every baby born this early, it’s not possible,” Dr. Rebecca Ballard, MD, neonatologist, Memorial Hermann/Pediatrix Medical Group of Texas said. “Not to think her story represents every baby, but it makes it so much more miraculous that it happened.”

JC is now meeting the developmental milestones of her adjusted age of two months old.

JC’s father told WCNC they view trying moments for parents of newborns from another perspective.

“We see it in a different point of view as grateful, because we wouldn’t experience that if she wasn’t here,” Eduardo Macias said.

In November, Guinness World Records and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital announced an Alabama baby boy who was born at only 21 weeks and one day has been officially named the world’s most premature baby to survive.

Curtis Zy-Keith Means, who weighed less than one pound at birth, was discharged in April after spending 275 days in the hospital. His twin sibling died one day after birth.


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