Miracle of baby who weighed 1lb 9oz
A MUM has spoken of how she overcame the odds to have a 1lb 9oz miracle baby - after a string of tragedies in a 14-year struggle to conceive.
An auto-immune disorder – known as sticky blood syndrome – had led to Emma Barratt suffering a series of harrowing stillbirths, miscarriages and failed rounds of IVF.
“I was desperate to be a mum. The urge inside me was so strong, that deep down I knew I shouldn’t give up – but, at the same time, I felt like it was never going to happen for us”, the 40-year-old from Stockport said.
In April last year, Emma became pregnant with her daughter Romey. But Emma’s condition meant Romey would face a 95-day fight for life once born.
After falling pregnant with Romey, former cashier Emma’s joy was tinged with sadness and worry.
A series of previous pregnancies had ended in tragedy and Emma and her window cleaner partner Larry Hasford, 31, had been left feeling hopeless after three IVF cycles failed.
“Being a mum was the first thing I thought of when I woke up in the morning and the last thing at night, too,” she said.
“I knew I was born to be a mum and Larry was desperate to be a dad. We knew we’d be great parents, and had so much love to give.”
Doctors had told Emma in 2006 that they believed she suffered with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), also known as sticky blood syndrome, which can cause the blood to form clots.
During pregnancy, they can occur in the placenta, which may result in miscarriage or premature birth.
Nervous about losing another baby, Emma was given blood-thinning Clexane injections to reduce the risk of blood clots and help keep the baby alive when she was four weeks pregnant.
However, at 23 weeks the couple were warned that there was a very real chance their baby could die.
“Despite all the warnings, she was still alive and growing, so there was hope,” said Emma. “We all had to focus on getting the baby to a survivable weight.”
At 27 weeks, to her delight, Emma was told her baby had made it to a healthy weight of 500g.
“When the doctor said, ‘she’s made it,’ Larry and I both burst into tears. She wasn’t out of the woods yet, but she was a little fighter.”
After that, Emma had a scan every other day, to check on the baby, before doctors said at 30 weeks that she was ready to be delivered by C-section. After tiny Romey was delivered on October 27, 2016, Emma then faced a traumatic 95-day wait before her daughter was strong enough to come home. “She was so tiny when she was born, doctors had to put her in a plastic bag to keep her warm, but seeing her lying there, in her incubator, felt like a miracle. “Romey is our rainbow baby, the name given to a baby that’s born after a miscarriage. She had to fight from day one to survive, and she did it.” “October 27 at 3.54pm was the most magical moment of our lives,” Emma recalled. “Larry was balling his eyes our when little Romey was lifted out. She was so tiny, weighing just 1lb 9oz and needed to be resuscitated, but a while later the nurse came in and asked if we wanted to take a picture... she was alive.” Called Romey as Larry liked the name, the couple did not see their daughter properly until 15 hours after her birth. “When we finally saw her, lying there, so tiny, in the incubator I felt relieved,” Emma confessed.
Ventilated for 28 days, Romey spent 95 days in hospital, experiencing a range of complications, including chronic lung disease and brain bleeds, before being discharged, still needing oxygen, on January 30.
But, now a year old, she is the picture of happiness, although she is still tiny, weighing 1st 5lb, small compared to the average.
“She is now a healthy, happy baby and we are so proud of her,” said Emma.
“She has been through so much, but she is still the most joyous little thing. We adore her.
“We are so thankful to all the medical staff at St Mary’s and Stepping Hill Hospitals who have been involved in her care.
“She’s our rainbow baby. So precious and amazing to have.
“It’s been a long and scary road, but we couldn’t be happier.”
Bliss, a charity for babies born premature and sick, supported Emma by providing access to information and support services. Parents who find themselves in a similar position to Emma can visit bliss.org.uk or call 0808 8010322 for more information
When the doctor said ‘she’s made it’ Larry and I burst into tears. She was a little fighter Delighted mum Emma Barratt
Happy parents Emma and Larry with Romey
Romey was tiny when she was born