You would think a baby who isn’t developing in the safe cocoon of its mother’s uterus would certainly never be born.
But that wasn’t the case of Nicollete Soto in Arizona – the 27-year old mother gave birth to a baby boy whose only protection inside his mother was a thin wall of membrane and muscle. Essentially, the embryo attached itself to where the fallopian tubes meet the uterus. Medically speaking, this condition is known as a cornual pregnancy.
Most of the time in this situation, the tube ruptures and terminates the pregnancy somewhere between the 12th and 14th week.
But not in Nicollete’s case – although her son was born a bit premature, both are doing well. Azelan Cruz was born at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix weighing 2 pounds, 14 ounces.
Nicollete’s doctors warned the determined mother that having a baby develop outside the uterus was potentially life-threatening due to the risk of rupture and dramatic blood loss. But according to her boyfriend, Nicollete wanted to see the pregnancy through to the end. She didn’t know she was pregnant until week 18 so she was already in a heap of danger by that time.
Doctors also warned Nicollete that they may need to surgically remove her uterus and even part of her bowels. Complicating matters more was the possibility of any attachments to her vital organs, which could have made things even more troublesome. In the event of any complications like this, experts in urology, radiology, trauma and vascular surgery were on call during the birth.
Fortunately though, none of their services were required.
During the birth (…done through C-section), minimal blood loss was experienced and went smoother than anyone expected – no special medical intervention was required. A larger than normal scar was the only unusual effect from the surgery.
Dr. Rodney Edwards, one of the physicians involved in the birth, says he’s never heard of anyone who was born this way. After scouring countless medical journals, he concluded this situation had to be the first.
We’re glad mom and son are doing well. While we possess a wealth of experiencing helping mothers give birth through C-section, this is the first time we’ve heard of a successful pregnancy where the baby developed outside of the uterus. If you have any special medical issues related to your pregnancy or simply want to learn more, check out our Gainesville obstetrics page today for more information.