Samuel Bien-Aime and Parents

Claudia Bien-Aimé always dreamed of being a mother. The 36-year-old and her husband repeatedly tried to conceive a child. However, every time she would get pregnant, she would suffer the heartbreaking loss of her unborn child. It always happened during the fourth month of pregnancy.

“In total, I had miscarried five times,” Claudia Bien-Aimé sadly remembers. “I always prayed to God that I would finally have a baby.”

Bien-Aimé suffers from cervical insufficiency – a condition that would cause her cervix to open early, and typically causes premature birth, or loss of an otherwise healthy pregnancy.

However, she remained determine to become a mother, and it was in March 2018 when Bien-Aimé learned that she was pregnant yet again.

“I was so happy to find out I was having a baby again,” said Bien-Aime. “But at 21 weeks, I started having contractions and I rushed to the hospital to seek help.”

The understandably anxious mother-to-be was admitted to The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial, where she remained hospital for weeks. During the 23rd week of her pregnancy, her water broke, and Bien-Aime immediately went into labor.

On August 7, doctors delivered little Samuel Bien-Aimé, weighing 400 grams. At approximately 14 ounces, he weighed less than a pound. The very fragile premmie was immediately rushed to The Schatzi and Stanley Kassal Project: Newborn Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

Little Samuel faced a major battle for his brand new life, and had to overcome several setbacks. He remained in the NICU for four months before finally being able to go home with his parents. It was December 13, just in time before the holidays.

“It was a rough course, as we expected it to be, but he’s like a full-term baby now,” said Dr. Cristina Navarrete, UHealth neonatologist at Holtz Children’s Hospital. “He met all his goals. He started to breathe on his own, came off of his oxygen need, and now he’s nipple feeding and thriving and growing, just in time for mommy to have him for Christmas.”

Samuel, who currently weighs 6 pounds, 10 ounces, is on the road to recovery. Doctors say the chance of this outcome in a case like Samuel’s is usually slim to none.

“It’s very important. This is what we want to see, for babies who are born at six months and slightly earlier like Samuel,” said Navarrete. “Not all of them survive, and for Samuel to survive is a big deal.”

“I am very happy, so excited,” his mother added.

Claudiea Bien-Aimé’s dream has come true for the holidays and she is looking forward to spending them with her bundle of joy.