Mir­a­cle baby was born 11 weeks early weigh­ing in at just 1lb 1oz

Wales On Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - TYLER MEARS Re­porter tyler.mears@waleson­line.co.uk

AMIRACLE baby has de­fied the odds af­ter she was born this week al­most three months pre­ma­ture and weigh­ing just 500g. Par­ents Robyn Bryant and her part­ner James Dury got to meet their baby girl this week, af­ter be­ing told to pre­pare for the worst dur­ing Robyn’s preg­nancy.

At just 20 weeks preg­nant, the cou­ple – from Cwm­parc in the Rhondda – were told to pre­pare for the worst as doc­tors said their daugh­ter Hal­lie could die in Robyn’s womb at any time.

But in a heart­warm­ing twist of fate, baby Hal­lie de­fied all of the odds and was born at the Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of Wales in Cardiff – on Tues­day.

Weigh­ing just 1lb1oz/500g, Hal­lie Sofia Dury was de­liv­ered 11 weeks pre­ma­ture via emer­gency cae­sarean.

She came out “scream­ing, cry­ing and breath­ing on her own” and is now con­tin­u­ing her bat­tle in the high de­pen­dency unit, where she’s ex­pected to stay un­til she’s strong enough to go home.

Here, Robyn talks us through the in­cred­i­ble fight for life that led to the birth of mir­a­cle baby Hal­lie:

“We went to our pri­vate gen­der scan and they picked up that Hal­lie’s fe­mur was a bit short and that she wasn’t grow­ing how she should have been,” Robyn said.

“She was around two weeks be­hind.”

At the 20-week scan, Hal­lie was mea­sur­ing fur­ther be­hind again and Robyn was sent for a num­ber of dif­fer­ent tests – in­clud­ing some they chose to pay pri­vately for.

But all of these tests came back clear, leav­ing the par­ents wor­ried and con­fused as to what could be wrong with their un­born baby.

Doc­tors even­tu­ally ad­vised Robyn to un­dergo am­nio­cen­te­sis – a test to check whether a baby has a ge­netic or chro­mo­so­mal con­di­tion.

It in­volves a long, thin nee­dle be­ing in­serted into the stom­ach and tests a small sam­ple of cells from the fluid that sur­rounds the un­born baby in the womb.

“I knew there was a risk of hav­ing a mis­car­riage with the test, so I avoided it at first,” Robyn said.

“I kept book­ing it and can­celling it.”

But af­ter fur­ther scans showed Hal­lie had a num­ber of com­pli­ca­tions, in­clud­ing a fused kid­ney, Robyn de­cided to go ahead with the test.

“I went to have the test, but ev­ery­thing came back clear,” she said.

“I wouldn’t say it was a relief, be­cause I would have loved and cared for her no mat­ter what hap­pened. But, we just wanted to know what was wrong so we could sort out what care she might have needed,” Robyn said.

Through­out the preg­nancy – which Robyn de­scribed as be­ing “very stress­ful” – the cou­ple were con­tin­u­ously told to pre­pare for the worst.

“From 20 weeks, we were told al­most weekly that Hal­lie could pass away at any time.

“We were told not to ex­pect a heart­beat at the next scan.

“But I was al­ways pos­i­tive. I had hope.

“My moth­erly in­stincts told me ev­ery­thing was go­ing to be OK. I didn’t care what they said.”

Robyn was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal at 27 weeks, but doc­tors told them baby Hal­lie wasn’t “vi­able”.

Foetal vi­a­bil­ity is the abil­ity of a foe­tus to sur­vive out­side the uterus and, ac­cord­ing to stud­ies, 20-35% of ba­bies born at 23 weeks sur­vive, while that fig­ures changes to 50-70% for ba­bies born at 24-25 weeks, and more than 90% for ba­bies born at 26-27 weeks.

How­ever, it is rare for a baby weigh­ing less than 500g to sur­vive.

Robyn was taken back into hos­pi­tal at 28 weeks – months be­fore her ac­tual due date on Jan­uary 8.

“We were put onto a ma­chine and mon­i­tors showed blips in Hal­lie’s heart­beat, so I was taken for an emer­gency cae­sarean,” Robyn said.

It was af­ter this that Hal­lie was born 11 weeks early, weigh­ing just 500g.

“There were loads of doc­tors and nurses, wait­ing to take her, in case she wasn’t breath­ing,” Robyn said.

“But, she proved ev­ery­one wrong – she came out scream­ing, cry­ing, fight­ing and breath­ing on her own.

“The pla­centa was the size of the palm of my hand and was grey and gritty – there was no blood flow there.

“That was the rea­son Hal­lie’s growth was re­stricted. “Ev­ery­one was blown away by her. “She’s tiny – around the same size as my iPhone.

“I can’t even de­scribe how happy I am. I wasn’t pre­pared to hear her cry­ing and fight­ing, so when she did – I was so over­whelemed.”

Hal­lie is now be­ing kept in a high­de­pen­dency unit at the Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of Wales in Cardiff, while Robyn and James are stay­ing in nearby ac­com­mo­da­tion pro­vided by the Ron­ald McDon­ald char­ity.

“Hal­lie has set­tled in well up in NICU – be­ing the small­est up there, and she’s al­ready show­ing them who is boss. There is a long road ahead of her, be­ing 11 weeks pre­ma­ture, but I have ev­ery faith in her she will over­come this bumpy road.”

Robyn is now telling her story in a bid to raise aware­ness of pre­ma­ture births and to re­as­sure women who may be go­ing through sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences.

“When I was preg­nant, I was lit­er­ally re­search­ing ev­ery­thing. But, what I found most help­ful is the amount of Face­book groups out there.

“I was speak­ing to other mams who had been through sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences, and it re­ally helped me.

“There was so much sup­port there. Ev­ery­one had time for me.

“I want to be able to give that back now, and if any­one wants to mes­sage me or talk, then I would be up for that.”

Lit­tle mir­a­cle Hal­lie Sofia Dury and, in­set, with mum and dad Robyn Bryant and James Dury fol­low­ing her birth

Proud par­ents Robyn Bryant and James Dury with Hal­lie

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