Miracle baby celebrates 1st birthday

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Azelan Cruz Perfecto, the baby who grew outside his mother's uterus and was delivered by a risky Cesarean section, is celebrating his first birthday.

Azelan's mom, Nicolette Soto, 28, found out her baby was outside her womb when she was about 18 weeks pregnant. The embryo that would become Azelan planted at the end of Soto's fallopian tube.

It's known as a cornual ectopic pregnancy, which is very rare and extremely dangerous -- so much so that doctors advised Soto to terminate the pregnancy.

"Cornual pregnancies will typically rupture at 12 to 14 weeks and cause bleeding and require an emergency operation. For some reason, hers did not," said Dr. Rodney Edwards last year.

Doctors called the baby a "ticking time bomb."

Soto decided to keep the baby and at 32 weeks, against all odds, gave birth to a perfect, healthy -- albeit tiny -- baby boy. His birth, which many thought impossible, made headlines all over the world.

Azelan weighed just 2 pounds 14 ounces when he was born and needed to stay in the hospital for several weeks.

“When I saw him for the first time, he was so small,” Soto said in a news release on the eve of Azelan's birthday. “When he came home at 1 month old, he was still less than 5 pounds and Q-Tips looked like dumbbells in his little hands.

"Today, I am amazed that he is so big and trying to walk," she continued. "You would never know the journey he went through to be here."

Just looking at his picture, Azelan looks like any healthy and happy 12-month-old. There's no sign of the danger and potentially catastrophic complications that accompanied his birth.

The team of 20 doctors, nurses and staff who helped keep Soto alive and bring Azelan into the world gathered Wednesday to celebrate the soon-to-be toddler's first birthday.