“His arms and toes were moving and he was trying to breathe on his own,” said Ellonn Smartt.

By Caitlin Keating
August 02, 2019

When her water broke at just 23 weeks pregnant, Iowa mother Ellonn Smartt did everything in her power to stay as calm as possible and protect her baby boy.

“I knew if I panicked, the baby would pick up on that and get stressed,” Smartt, 25, told Today Parents. “I couldn’t let that happen.”

But when doctors at Iowa Methodist Medical Center told the mother from Des Moines, who wasn’t due until November, how serious the situation really was, “I was heartbroken,” she told the outlet.

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“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,” she said. “That was the moment when I fell apart.”

, Smartt and her family — which included her 3-year-old son, Elijah — were there to comfort her as they made their way to the hospital.

“Mommy, everything will be fine,” Elijah told her, according to KCCI.

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Added Smartt: “We think kids don’t notice these things or understand what’s going on, but he did.”

Despite the many unknowns that laid ahead, Smartt gave birth on July 11 to Jaden Wesley Morrow, who weighed just 13 oz. Her boyfriend, 27-year-old Jordan Morrow, was by her side throughout it all.

While Smartt and Morrow haven’t been able to hold their baby boy just yet because he’s still in an incubator, they “go in and talk to him, and I tell him that I’m proud of him every day,” said Smartt.

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“His arms and toes were moving and he was trying to breathe on his own,” Smartt told Today. “He’s our little miracle.”

and has since raised $1,290.

An update in the voice of little Jaden reads, “Weighing in at a whopping 13 ounces, I’m already wowing the Doctors. I’ve heard them use terms like ‘amazing’ and ‘remarkable’ to describe me so far – not bad for someone under 1 pound, huh? My parents and my grandma are going to use this site to let you know how I’m coming along in the NICU.”

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