The fact thatMaddalena Dousewas born at just23 weeks, and is theyoungest premature babyever to survive in the UK, is a miracle in and of itself. But thereasonshe's alive makes the entire situation all the more miraculous. See, current guidelines in England don't suggest providing active care for babies born 22 weeks and 6 days or before. But when they put Maddalena on the scale, and realized that sheweighed 1 pound-- the minimum weight for a baby to be considered "viable" -- theyfought to keep her alive. Here's the thing, though -- Maddalena wasn't 1 pound. Apair of scissors had been accidentally left on the scale, making it seem like she weighed that much. And now, well, here she is.
Maddalena was discharged from Royal Sussex Hospital recently at the age of6 months old, and she's expected to grow into ahealthy child. Oh, andshe's adorable. Sadly, though, she had a twin sister,Isabella, who died a few weeks after the girls were born. Maddalena's parents,Kate and Renato, are obviously thrilled with their daughter -- who is, in every sense of the term, a miracle baby.
I honestly have no idea what it would be like for a mother to give birth to a very premature baby -- and know that the hospital has a "cut-off", so to speak, in terms of how, or if, they're going tofight for a child's life. It's truly unimaginable. And heartbreaking. And no parent should ever have to go through something like that. I can't even begin to fathom what it was like for Kate and Renato as they waited to find out how much theirsweet babyweighed -- because it would directly correlate to the care she would receive. In a word: Awful.
But let'stryto focus on the good today -- I think we could all use some good right now. This little angel is meant to be on this Earth. Plain and simple. There's really no other way to explain the scissors being left on the scale, bumping up her weight. Who knows how they got there, or why they weren't taken off -- I like to think that some nurse was very kind and left them on there. It's nice to imagine there's someone like that in the world.
They have those limits because their equipment is only so small. I don't know if I'd even want them to try if I had one so early. Put the baby through all that suffering to have a 99% chance of either dying anyway within a few weeks, alone, because you can't touch them much, or growing up severely, severely handicapped? I hope I'd be strong enough to just let my baby go naturally.
That is amazing. Unfortunately there is only so much they can do before 23 wks. I had issues at 12 wks and they were talking about keeping me till I gave birth but they wouldn't do anything for the baby unless it was atleast 22-24 wks and they could prove it was viable....