Baby Born the Size of a Coke Can Celebrates Christmas at Home

Eliora "Ellie" Schneider, one of the most premature babies ever to survive, made it home in time for her first Christmas today.

Ellie was due on Nov. 1 of this year, but she arrived months ahead of schedule. Robin, Ellie's 30-year-old mother, went into labor at just 21 weeks and six days during a routine examination. Her water broke and contractions began, but doctors were able to delay the birth for a time. Still, by mid-June, Ellie couldn't be stopped.

Ellie was born weighing just 13.6 oz. She was about the size of a coke can. "I did not think a human being could be so tiny," Robin told the DailyMail. "To be honest, it was scary to look at her."

Robin's medical care professionals say that the early birth was a result of her shortened cervix. At 18 weeks, it was one tenth of the size it was supposed to be.

"This meant that I could have gone into labor at any second," Robin recalled, "which would have been terrible because the doctors couldn't have helped her and she wouldn't have survived. It was a massive shock to us because I had thought me and the baby were healthy."

Robin and Joel, Ellie's father, already had one healthy child, Elijah, whose birth went off without a hitch. Suddenly, they were facing seemingly insurmountable odds.

Finally, after months of crisis after crisis, Ellie was cleared to go home just in time for Christmas. She's been with her family in Kansas City, Missouri, since early December.

"It's such a dream come true to have her home for Christmas," Robin said. "We kept praying for this as she grew stronger as the days passed in the hospital. Christmas is such a special time of the year. It's all about a baby and his birth and we are so fortunate that we have our own baby girl home to celebrate the season with.

"It truly is a Christmas miracle," she concluded.