Ellonn Smartt was only 23 weeks into her pregnancy when her water broke, and just shortly after, she gave birth to a 13-ounce baby boy.
“His arms and toes were moving and he was trying to breathe on his own,” the Des Moines, Iowa, mother told Today Parents. “He’s our little miracle.”
Though she wasn’t due until November, the 25-year-old Smartt gave birth to Jaden Wesley Morrow on July 11. Her 27-year-old boyfriend, Jordan Morrow, was with her the entire time.
Smartt said when she first found out she was pregnant, she did her best to stay calm. “I knew if I panicked, the baby would pick up on that and get stressed,” she explained.
“I couldn’t let that happen,” the young mom added.
She did, though, break down crying when doctors at Iowa Methodist Medical Center told her just how serious her situation was.
“They said I was going to have to deliver in the next day or two and there was a good chance he wouldn’t survive,” Smartt said. “That was the moment when I fell apart. I was heartbroken.”
But Jaden survived, and he came out ready to fight.
Smartt and Morrow haven’t yet been able to hold Jaden, according to People, because he’s still in an incubator. Smartt said she and her boyfriend “go in and talk to him, and I tell him that I’m proud of him every day.”
Jaden was transferred to the NICU at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines and will be discharged on his due date, Nov. 6.
“For most part, Jaden is stable,” Smartt said. “He’s on a ventilator and had a small infection, but his doctors think he looks great. He’s getting breast milk and gaining weight.”
While she and Morrow are sometimes saddened by their son’s situation, they are both “staying positive for Jaden.”