Nicolette Soto, 27, whose fetus developed outside her uterus surrounded by a thin wall of membrane and muscle, gave birth in Arizona after 32 weeks of pregnancy to a 2 pound 14 ounce baby at the Maternal Fetal Medicine Center at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. Doctors wonder whether this has ever happened before.
The baby developed just next to the mother's uterus, but outside it. The placenta had not attached properly and eventually attached to the outside of the uterine wall. Doctors said that removing it was much easier than they had expected. In case of complications, a team of experts in urology, trauma and radiology, as well as a vascular surgeon were on standby - fortunately, their services were not required.
Ms. Soto was warned by doctors that having a baby develop outside the uterus was life-threatening for both her and her baby. However, according to boyfriend, Victor Perfecto, she made it clear that she wanted to see the pregnancy through to the end.
Azelan Cruz cruz was born last Monday.
The embryo had attached itself to where the fallopian tube meets the uterus, the medical team explained - a cornual pregnancy. In most cases the tube ruptures and the pregnancy ends around the 12-14th week.
One of the medical team involved in the delivery, Dr. Rodney Edwards, said he searched in medical literature to determine whether a live baby had ever been delivered from such a pregnancy and found no previous cases.
Dr. Rodney Edwards said:
"This is just a case that proves, in medicine,
nothing happens 'always' or 'never.'"
It was not until the 18th week that Nicolette Soto knew she was pregnant. Had she known earlier, her doctors said they would have advised her to terminate. The risk of rupture and fatal blood loss would have been considerable. However, by the end of the 18th week the danger was already there.
They warned Soto they might have to surgically remove her uterus, as well as part of her bowel. If there was attachment to a vital organ, something that could occur for the placenta to get its blood supply, things could become seriously complicated, they warned.
Soto was clear; she wanted to have the baby. She was admitted to hospital in March and closely monitored until the birth.
The medical team said the delivery was much more straightforward than they had expected. No special medical intervention was needed and the loss of blood was minimal. A larger-than-normal abdominal scar was the only abnormal aspect of her surgery.
Soto is expected to be out of hospital within the next four days. Her baby will remained hospitalized for approximately four more weeks.
Written by Christian Nordqvist