‘He was so small he fit in my bra’: Baby born weighing just 1 POUND finally home after 181 days in hospital
A mother who was told her baby “wouldn’t survive” after he was born too small to fit into her bra is now home and thriving after 181 days in hospital.
Zaylan Reed, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, weighed just 1 pound, 6 ounces when she was born after 22-year-old Krysten Riskon went into labor at 23 weeks, six days, 16 weeks early.
He had a hole in his heart and spent the next few months on and off ventilators because his lungs were too immature to help him breathe on their own.
But ‘miracle’ baby Zaylan is finally home and thriving, and Krysten, inspired by her time in the hospital, is now studying to become a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse.
Zaylan Reed weighed just 1lb 6oz when he was born and used to hold mom Krysten’s finger with his whole hand.
Ms Ribson and Janerio Reed, 20, (pictured left) were delighted to learn they were expecting their first baby in August 2022. Zaylan had a hole in his heart when he was born and spent the next 181 days on and without oxygen.
Ms Ribson said: ‘When I first held him, he sat in my bra. Now it only fits the foot.
“We had been told that he probably wouldn’t make it. He is a little fighter. It is a miracle.
Ms Ribson and Janerio Reed, 20, a retailer, were delighted when they found out they were expecting their first baby in August 2022.
Ms Ribson started bleeding at 23 weeks and six days and went to hospital, but doctors assumed it was a yeast infection and sent her home with medication.
But her pain only got worse. “I was up all night screaming,” she said.
The couple returned to the hospital when the pain did not subside and doctors found that she was 4 cm dilated.
Ms Ribson said: ‘They said, ‘You’re going to have this baby today. She probably won’t make it.’ I started to cry.’
The mom-to-be was airlifted to UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, which has specialized equipment for tiny babies.
Doctors gave her steroids to help the baby’s lungs and were able to stop labor for another two days, until December 23, 2022.
Reed cut the cord before her son was taken to the neonatal unit.
Each year in the US, about 5,000 babies are born in the uncertain window between 22 and 23 weeks.
Babies born before 22 weeks are generally too physically underdeveloped to be successfully treated with intensive care and have only a 30 percent chance of survival.
Ms Ribson said: ‘When it was shot down I was quite scared. It was so small that it fit in the palm of my hand.
Zaylan was born with a hole in his heart and spent the next 181 days on and without oxygen.
He underwent surgery after he was born with ROP, an eye disease that can occur when babies are born prematurely, to improve his eyesight.
Finally, after a feeding tube was placed, Zaylan was able to return home on June 21, 2023.
Ms Ribson said: ‘It was unreal to have him at home. He is pretty crazy. I can’t believe how small he was.
‘He used to hold my finger with his whole hand. He used to have the size of a fingerprint on his foot.
She said: ‘He’s quite funny. He’s a grump, he leers at me.
But he added that he too “smiles and laughs all the time.”
Ms. Ribson is due to attend Mount Aloysius College in the fall to become a nurse.