Mothers wait nine months to see their babies for the first time. But Kimberly Robinson had to wait a little longer.
Her son, Jordan Jamal Smith, was born on March 25, with a nearly two-pound tumor obscuring his face -- he survived despite long, long odds.
Robinson and Drs. Elvire Jacques and Ramzi Younis told his story on The Early Show Friday. The physicians are from Holtz Children's Hospital in Miami, which is part of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Co-anchor Harry Smith asked Robinson why she decided to go against convention and have the baby, despite the risks.
"Just seeing him on the monitor," Robinson repliled. "He was moving, and just the connection that we had from day one, I just couldn't" terminate the pregnancy.
Jacques, a perinatologist, said Robinson wanted to do everything she could to give little Jordan Smith a chance to live.
"Even if the chance was less than 10 percent of survival," Jacques said, "I was willing to take that chance with her."
The tumor was initially thought to be an undeveloped twin, but was later identified as just a mass. The tumor started at the back of Jordan Smith's mouth, almost killing him in the womb. In the last stage of Robinson's pregnancy, Jacques said, doctors were removing a liter of fluid a week from Robinson's abdomen through amniocentesis because Jordan couldn't properly swallow.
And when Jordan was born by C-section, the tumor left him unable to breathe, so doctors -- while he was still connected to his mother -- had to insert a tube into the tumor and into his mouth to clear an airway.
"We were not sure how much of an opening and how much of a mouth or face existed in this miraculous baby," said Younis, chief of pediatric otolaryngology at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. "I had a few minutes to take a look, identify a mouth and an opening that would leave me to maintain an airway, and give him a life."
The tumor has since been removed completely, and Robinson said seeing her baby's face for the first time was "wonderful."
"Every time I hold him, it's joy, it's nothing but pure joy. And he's just beautiful. He has the brightest eyes, and we have such a connection."
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