Alachua County's 1st baby of 2012 is premature

Angeline Salgado, 18, is kissed by her boyfriend, Luis Avila, 19, the father of Cristian Josue Avila Castaneda, the first baby born in the New Year in Alachua County, at Shand at the University of Florida.

Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 6:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 6:40 p.m.

Cristian wasn't supposed to be the year's first baby in Gainesville.

His mother, Angelina Salgado, was only 29 weeks pregnant when she had a seizure Saturday in her hometown of Dunnellon in Marion County.

Salgado, 18, was taken by ambulance to Shands at the University of Florida, where she gave birth to Cristian Josue Avila Castaneda at 12:14 a.m. Sunday as New Year's revelers celebrated downtown.

The due date had been March 16.

Born two and a half months premature, Cristian weighed in at 2 pounds, 4 ounces, and was placed into the hospital's neonatal intensive-care unit among 47 other babies who were born prematurely or suffered other complications.

On Sunday afternoon, Cristian was in an incubator connected to a number of monitors.

“In here, they're watched extremely closely,” said Jessica Withers, the charge nurse of the unit. “We've got an eye on him hourly, sometimes more.”

Salgado was able to see her newborn briefly before he was placed into intensive care, and she was bedridden for the day because of the seizure.

Her boyfriend, Luis Avila, 19, was able to see his son through the clear incubator.

Salgado had planned to give birth at North Florida Regional Medical Center, but paramedics took her to Shands, possibly because she couldn't remember anything after the seizure, she said.

She wasn't really interested in the fact that her boy, who said she was “like a bunny” he was so small, was the area's first baby. She just wanted him to be healthy.

Withers said it was too early tell if he would suffer any lasting complications.

He will likely stay at the hospital for up to 11 weeks, the remainder of the time he would have spent in the womb if born on schedule.

In order to leave, he will need to be able to eat without intravenous fluids, gain weight and keep his temperature up on his own, Withers said.

“Some premature babies walk out with no lasting effects,” she said. “But there are a host of complications that can be caused by being born prematurely.”

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top