Micro preemie will celebrate first birthday - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Micro preemie will celebrate first birthday

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MISSOULA, Mont. -

On March 2 Aiden Anklam will turn one. It's a day not everyone thought he'd live to see.

"In those beginning months there was so much touch and go," said Magda Podlipny, Aiden’s mother.

Aiden's story started early. He was born at just 24 weeks and one day gestation, months from the typical 40 weeks of healthy babies.

"I was really hesitant to even touch him at first," said Jerod Anklam, Aiden’s father.

"There's always moments of scary and losing him,” Magda said, “In the beginning you really don't know."

In the beginning Aiden was just one pound and seven ounces, a micro preemie.

"We took it day by day," Jerod said.

Aiden spent his first 10 months in various hospitals struggling to breathe and fighting infections. He’s still on a ventilator and feeding tube, so getting out of the house is a big feat.

"We're celebrating being home,” Magda said. “We went outside for the first time the other day."

Though he still requires round-the-clock care, Aiden is making pretty big steps for someone whose feet were once so small.

"His forearm was the size of my pinkie when he came out," Jerod said.

His first diaper was smaller than the average cellphone. Magda remembers they had to fold it to allow it to fit him.

Aiden is now about 13 pounds and is sitting up on his own. His mom says he would not be where he is today without the support of medical teams in Montana and Seattle. She also wants to thank dozens of women who donated breastmilk to help Aiden grow.

On March 2, Aiden will celebrate his first birthday -- a big milestone for such a little guy.

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