Mom gives birth on cruise ship

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A Utah family's dream cruise vacation came to a very dramatic end when mom gave birth. (WPVI)

A Utah family's dream cruise vacation came to a very dramatic end when mom gave birth.

They were out at sea when it happened their little one decided to make his entrance.

Emily Morgan, 28, said the baby was due in December, but contractions began Aug. 31 during the seven-day cruise around the eastern Caribbean. The pregnancy had been uneventful and her doctor approved the cruise to celebrate her daughter's third birthday.

The ship was 14 hours from port when Emily went into labor. Little Haiden was born just 30 minutes later.

A baby born so early and so far from a hospital has a less than 10 percent chance of survival, said Dr. Bradley Yoder, medical director of the newborn intensive care unit at the University of Utah.

"I'm surprised the baby survived, to be honest," Yoder said.

Morgan insisted her baby be wrapped in fresh, dry towels, and she helped staff members tuck microwaved saline packets around him to create a makeshift incubator. Meanwhile, the captain of the boat sped to Puerto Rico, and it arrived about two hours early. Two ambulances rushed the family to a hospital, and they were transferred to a children's hospital in Miami a few days later.

Emily describes his incredibly small features, "His feet are 2 inches long and his hands are about an inch and a half. His body length is about 13 inches, so he's very, very small."

Haiden, who's considered a "micro-preemie" has been given a good prognosis because his lungs are fully developed despite his small size.

The family is now in Miami after spending three days in Puerto Rico.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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familybabybirthcruise shipu.s. & world