Nicollete Soto was warned that because her baby was not contained in her uterus, both she and the child could die if she continued with her pregnancy, but the Arizona woman successfully carried her baby for 32 weeks and has now delivered the child prematurely in a birth that doctors say is the first ever successful gestation of its kind. Soto had what is called a cornual pregnancy, which is a specific type of ectopic pregnancy in which the embryo attaches itself to the junction where the uterus and the fallopian tube join together. What complicated matters was that specialists could not determine exactly where the baby was attached, and as with any ectopic pregnancy, if the placenta was taking its blood supply from any of Soto’s major organs, it could have threatened her life.
In almost all ectopic pregnancies, the fallopian tube ruptures quite early on in the gestation, terminating the pregnancy and causing potentially fatal internal bleeding inside the mother. Until now, there has never been a recorded case of an ectopic pregnancy resulting in a live birth, and for reasons of safety, doctors always recommend controlled termination of the pregnancy in order to ensure the health of the mother. Soto did not want to opt for this as she had been trying to conceive for nearly half a decade, and she felt that if an ectopic termination resulted in a damaged fallopian tube or even a emergency hysterectomy, her chances of having a baby would be over.
It is still not known why the Soto’s fallopian tube did not rupture, but doctors say they had a much easier time delivering the baby than expected. While extracting the baby was always thought to be the easy part, surgeons worried that they might find the placenta’s blood supply entwined with Soto’s major organs. In the end, the surgery ended up being more straightforward than expected, and mother and baby are both recovering well.