North Dakotans care for Texas mom and preemie son after unexpected birth during holiday vacation

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A Texas woman and her extremely premature son are recovering after an unexpected birth over the Christmas holiday in North Dakota.  Crystal Russell of Arlington was visiting her husband’s family for Christmas when she began hemorrhaging in her sleep, according to the Bismarck Tribune.  Her husband, noticing the blood, awoke her and Crystal was rushed to the hospital, unsure of what was going on and not experiencing labor pains. 

Doctors explained that the placenta was separating from Crystal’s uterus – a process which normally does not occur until shortly after the baby is born.  The condition, placental abruption, meant that she needed to remain hospitalized until her April due date.  However, Crystal went into labor on December 26 – barely halfway through her pregnancy.

Little Wyatt was born via emergency C-section and weighed in at only 1 pound, 5 ounces: a real Christmas miracle.  Doctors had prepared for the possibility of an early birth by providing him with synthetic surfactants– steroids which helped Wyatt’s lungs develop to the point at which they would help him survive outside the womb.  Wyatt’s eyes were still fused shut at birth, but his hearty screams assured Crystal that he was healthy.

“The first time I hear him cry, I think I’m going to let him cry for a little bit because that’s the first time I’ve heard him do anything,” said Crystal.

Baby Wyatt will remain in the neonatal intensive care unit until he has achieved more of the milestones that would normally have been met in utero.  Crystal looks forward to being able to bring her little one home to Texas.  Her husband, Christopher, and their other sons had to return to Texas for work and school.  However, the Bismarck community in North Dakota has stepped in to ensure that Crystal is not alone while she and Wyatt are separated from the rest of the family.  Crystal is staying at the Ronald McDonald House, and extended family established a GoFundMe page to help defray the cost of the pair’s unexpected ordeal.

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