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Was This Baby Really Born Holding an IUD? Mom Explains

Photograph by Facebook

One Alabama mom won't soon forget the birth announcement that propelled her newborn to fame.

When Lucy Hellein posted a photo of her baby boy holding an IUD in his right hand, along with the caption "Mirena fail!" she didn't expect it to get so popular. Though it has been less than a week, the photo already has more than 70,000 shares.

After people started to think that the baby, Dexter Tyler, was really born holding the implant, Hellein clarified with First Coast News that the intrauterine device was actually found behind the placenta during her C-section.

"My daughter was an emergency C-section, so I had this one scheduled primarily because I didn't want to risk the possibility of going through another emergency C-section," Hellein wrote. Because her doctors weren't able to locate the IUD during her pregnancy, "During the C-section, my OB planned on searching for the MIA Mirena, as well as remove my Fallopian tube (shutting down my end of the baby factory)."

When the device was found, the nurse placed the IUD in the newborn's hand, a friend took the photo, Hellein posted it on Facebook the next day, and the cheeky photo took off.

Hellein said she never had any problems with Mirena before and that her doctor believes she may have gotten pregnant about three weeks after the IUD was placed.

IUDs are one of the most effective birth control methods available, with failure rates at less than 1 percent. Doctors generally first do a pregnancy test before the procedure. When that's clear and the IUD is implanted into the uterus, the Mirena IUD releases levonorgestrel, a hormone often used in birth control pills, into the uterus. Mirena prevents pregnancy for up to five years by thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering and/or thinning the lining of the uterus.

"(Hellein) is very lucky that when the placenta grew over the IUD it did not disrupt the blood flow to the placenta," Planned Parenthood nurse practitioner, Laura Ghassemini, told First Coast News. (Planned Parenthood was not involved in Hellein's birth story.)

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There have been rare cases of IUDs failing, getting displaced, embedded in the walls of the uterus or expelled, any of which can be dangerous for mom and baby. A famous XO Jane blog documented how one writer lost a baby, job and one of her fallopian tubes two months after getting an IUD. A 22-year-old's Facebook post also went viral after sharing her experience of the Mirena being embedded in her myometrium, and the difficult surgeries that followed.

Despite all odds, the 9-pound, 1-ounce Dexter was born healthy on April 27. Though his birthday isn't exactly on "Star Wars" Day (which is today, his original due date), the newborn's story proves the force is still strong in this one.

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