A Chicago infant is going home today for the first time, more than four months after being born as a "micro-premie."
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Entitan Martins delivered her daughter Eirianna when she was just 23 weeks pregnant. Weighing in at just 13 ounces, Eirianna is the smallest surviving infant to be born at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, according to hospital officials.
"I'm just grateful that we're both here," Martins told ABC's Chicago station WLS-TV. "It's been a long haul."
While pregnant, Martins had pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage in other organs. As a result, she knew that she would deliver early, but 23 weeks was so early that Eirianna was born on the edge of survivability.
"He comes in one day and says, 'We're having the baby now. I'm calling your husband, we're gonna do it,'" Martin told WLS-TV of the moment a doctor told her she needed to deliver.
Born via a cesarean section, the tiny infant was so fragile that her anxious parents couldn't even reach out and touch her as a newborn in case they accidentally injured her, according to WLS.
"I thought I was prepared for it, but when I saw her I was shell shocked," Martins told WLS-TV.
After months in the hospital, Eirianna now can now feed via bottle and looks just like any other healthy newborn.
"Oh, it's great. I mean, she looks so good. She looks like she never was a little tiny premie," Beckie Deir, a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit told WLS.
As Martins prepares to take her daughter home today, she looked back on her daughter's survival after such an early delivery as "a gift."
"It feel like a miracle, like a blessing," Martins said. "I am very grateful."