TACOMA, Wash. — Little baby Oliver weighed 7 pounds and 7 ounces at birth and was just shy of 19 inches long.
The boy came into the world with a head of dark hair; 10 fingers and 10 toes; and the love of his beaming new parents, Josh and Lauren.
The newborn also has quite the birth story after he had to undergo a very rare surgery as he was being delivered into the world.
"It was wild," his father said. "Yeah, it was a lot."
A team of 30 doctors and nurses were called in at Oliver's birth to perform a unique and rare Cesarean section to bring the boy into the world.
Known as the ex-utero intrapartum treatment, or EXIT, doctors were forced to use it after an ultrasound scan 18 weeks into his mother's pregnancy revealed that Oliver had a facial abnormality that would make it difficult to breathe on his own. His jaw was smaller than normal, and he had a cleft palate.
"This is a major emergency for the baby if the baby cannot breath or have airway access," said Dr. Edith Cheng, the vice chair for OBGYN at UW Medicine, and one of Lauren's doctors.
But knowing that information in advance meant doctors could prepare for his birth.
They knew they would need to insert a tiny breathing tube, which is a challenge that can take minutes but time they and the baby might not have once Oliver was detached from his mother's placenta.
So the doctors turned to a rarely used surgical technique that allowed doctors to intubate midway through his birth.
"Just his head and one of his arms was delivered as they were establishing the airway and the doctors were working on him," Lauren said. "He was fully supported by my body still. His brain and his body did not know he was out in the world yet."
UW Medicine averages just one ex-utero intrapartum treatment a year. But they were ready with Team Mom and her Team Baby.
"It was like being a pitstop at a NASCAR race," Lauren said. "I was the car and all these people were moving around me and like... I had both of my arms out, they’re putting in IV's, 'OK, Lauren we’re doing this (and) OK, this is happening,' and I’m like, OK!"
But what sounds chaotic was actually well-choreographed and required more than 100 hours of planning.
"The movements just around the mother-baby pair were, we’re only talking about inches to less than a foot of movement in this coordination of this group to get the baby to where we needed it to be," Cheng said. "In the room (and) in spite of everything, it was very quiet. People understood the intensity of this. It was intense, but it was very organized."
Once fully delivered, the newborn had to be transferred to the newborn intensive care unit at Seattle Children's Hospital.
His mother saw him only for a matter of seconds before he was wheeled away.
"I don’t know many people who could go through what’s she’s been through and be as positive as she is," said Josh Setten. "But that’s kind of who she is."
As soon as Lauren was discharged from UW Medicine, she went to Children's to be with her son.
The Tacoma couple now spends most of their time by Oliver's side, waiting for him to be discharged, which could be a matter of weeks or months, depending on his progress with breathing and eating on his own.
The boy will eventually need surgery to repair his cleft palate although his doctors said his outlook is good, and his parents are ready for what comes next.