TWIN FALLS — Samantha Crabb thought everything was on track 24 weeks into her pregnancy.
The Hansen woman had a check-up Friday and everything looked good. But just days later, she went to the hospital with stomach pain and ended up going into labor.
Her daughter, Rainna Crabb, was born at 5:15 p.m. Monday at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls, weighing just 1 lb., 1 ounce and measuring 11 inches long.
Four hours later, the baby was flown to St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Boise.
“She is doing awesome right now,” said Hazelton resident Kindra Perez, the baby’s aunt. “She is breathing on her own” with the help of a continuous positive airway pressure machine.
But the baby’s right lung is still closed, Perez said, and her heart valve hasn’t closed yet.
Rainna — the first child of Samantha and Steven Crabb — has a long road ahead of her.
She’ll be in the hospital at least until July 2 — her original due date, Perez said.
To help out the Crabb family, there's a pig roast dinner, auction and raffle from 2-5 p.m. April 1 at Kimberly City Park.
There’s also a GoFundMe page online and an account set up at Wells Fargo locations where donations can be made.
Nationwide, about 10 percent of all deliveries result in an infant going to a neonatal intensive care unit, said Doug Kelly, NICU and women’s and children’s director at St. Luke’s Magic Valley.
Of that group, 10 percent — or 1 percent of the total deliveries — are “extremely low birth weight infants” who weigh about 1 pound, 4 ounces or less.
Out of about 1,800 births each year, St. Luke’s Magic Valley typically sees about three or four infants who fall into that category.
St. Luke’s Magic Valley NICU cares for infants 30 weeks and older. “Any infant that is less than 30 weeks normally gets transferred to Boise,” Kelly said.
Medical providers usually know ahead of time if it looks like a baby will be born prematurely, he said. In that case, the standard is to transfer the mother before the delivery.
If providers don’t know in advance, “we’re fully capable of delivering the infant and stabilizing it,” Kelly said.
After that, “there are lots of risks involved” for a 24-week infant, he said.
One of the most common is a head bleed, he said. “The veins and arteries in their head are very fragile because of their prematurity,” he said. It can be aggravated by the shock of delivery, and can cause brain damage.
Kelly said other potential challenges can include damage to retinal nerves due to high levels of oxygen some premature infants require, hearing damage due to use of antibiotics and respiratory issues since “normally, it takes a while for those babies’ lungs to mature.”