A premature baby that doctors say spent less time in the womb than any other surviving infant is scheduled for release from a South Florida hospital Tuesday.
Amillia Sonja Taylor was just 9 1/2 inches (24.13 centimeters) long and weighed less than 10 ounces (284 grams) when she was born Oct. 24. She was delivered after just under 22 weeks of pregnancy; full-term births come after 37 to 40 weeks.
Neonatologists who cared for Amillia say she is the first baby known to survive after a gestation period of fewer than 23 weeks.
"We weren't too optimistic," Dr. William Smalling said Monday. "But she proved us all wrong."
The baby has experienced respiratory problems, a very mild brain hemorrhage and some digestive problems, but none of the health concerns are expected to pose long-term problems, her doctors said.
"We can deal with lungs and things like that but, of course, the brain is the most important," Dr. Paul Fassbach, who has cared for Amillia since her second day, said by phone Monday. "But her prognosis is excellent."
Amillia has been in an incubator since birth and has been receiving oxygen. She will continue getting a small amount of oxygen and will be on a monitor to watch her breathing once she leaves Baptist Children's Hospital.
"She's going to be in a normal crib, she's going to have normal feedings, she's taking all her feedings from a bottle," said Smalling, who has cared for Amillia since her third day,the AP reports.
Amillia is the first child for Eddie and Sonja Taylor of Homestead. She was conceived by in vitro fertilization, which made it possible to pinpoint her exact time in the womb, and was delivered by Caesarean section. She now is between 25 and 26 inches (64 and 66 centimeters) long and weighs 4 1/2 pounds (2 kilograms).
"It's a prize baby," Fassbach said. "A miracle," Smalling added.