Little Dexter Tyler might only be 1 week old, but that hasn't stopped him from becoming an Internet superstar already: When a photo of the minutes-old infant clutching his mom's intrauterine device (IUD) was posted to Facebook earlier this week, it racked up more than 60,000 shares in just two days.
The original Facebook post about Dexter's birth has since been made private, but the conversation surrounding his photo hasn't quieted down just yet. The image of little Dexter holding his mom's Mirena IUD raises many questions: Was the healthy, 9-pound baby really born with the IUD in his hand? And what does his mom's pregnancy have to say about the effectiveness of IUDs?
Thankfully, Dexter's mother, Lucy Hellein of Fort Mitchell, Alabama, has publicly cleared some things up for us. First of all, her baby boy was not born with the IUD in his hand. But the she did become pregnant with the IUD still inserted, and her doctor couldn't safely remove it during her pregnancy, so it was left in her uterus until birth.
"The doctors found it behind my placenta," the mom of three told Tampa Bay news station WTSP. "One of the nurses placed it in [Dexter's] hand, and they took a picture of it."
So that's one mystery solved. But what about the fact that Hellein got pregnant with an IUD? Well, according to Planned Parenthood, IUDs are more than 99 percent effective — but there is that teeny tiny chance that someone using one might still become pregnant.
"My doctor believes I may have gotten pregnant about three weeks after it was placed," Hellein explained.
A local Planned Parenthood nurse practitioner offered another possible answer, suggesting that Hellein might have already been pregnant before the IUD was inserted. Either way, the Alabama mom is lucky that the device didn't disrupt blood flow to the placenta during her pregnancy, which would have led to miscarriage, the nurse practitioner said.
The moral of the story? If you have an IUD, you shouldn't be worried about getting pregnant — the chances that you will are extremely low. The Planned Parenthood nurse practitioner told WTSP that you're more likely to win the lottery — and with Hellein's new one-in-a-million baby, she feels like she did.