Mir­a­cle of baby who weighed 1lb 9oz

Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROSA MCMA­HON

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

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