Tragedy struck a British family on Christmas Eve when Gemma Bryant gave birth to a stillborn baby boy 21 weeks into her pregnancy.
Bryant and her husband, James, were told to expect the worst for their son’s twin sister as well. But the family experienced a Christmas miracle, and little Lexi Bryant survived.
The premature infant remains in the hospital today, but her Yorkshire parents said they hope she will be well enough to go home this spring.
The Daily Mail reports the Bryants were excitedly awaiting Gemma’s 20-week prenatal appointment with no indications that anything was wrong. Just one day before her check-up, however, her water broke and shattered all their hopes.
Eight days later, on Christmas Eve, Gemma went into labor and gave birth to her stillborn son, Kobi Nathaniel, according to the report. The Bryants said their doctors warned that Kobi’s twin, Lexie, probably would be born within three days and die, too.
“He was perfectly formed. He was beautiful. We believe that he did all of that to save Lexie,” Gemma Bryant said. “Those days waiting were horrific, not knowing what would happen to her. I was put on bed rest but told to expect the worst.”
Three days went by and then a week, and then two. Lexie remained in the womb, giving her the chance to develop enough to survive. After 17 days, she was born kicking and trying to breathe on her own – “a true miracle,” her mother said. She weighed 1 pound, 3 ounces.
“… Lexie came out fighting, her arms and legs were all over the place, she was breathing on her own. It was very scary but amazing,” she remembered.
As very premature babies do, Lexie battled through a number of health complications. Her parents said they were not even allowed to hold her for the first 20 days because she was so fragile.
“It was amazing,” Gemma Bryant said, recalling the moment she first held Lexie in her arms. “I burst into tears because it was just relief, holding my little girl. It was just lovely.
“I had her on me for over two hours, she was so settled, her heart rate was normal, all the machines stopped going off, it was as if she was content. We are now taking each day as it comes. We have had really good days and not so good days, but she seems to keep fighting and fighting,” she continued.
Keep up with the latest pro-life news and information on Twitter. Follow @LifeNewsHQ
Lexie Bryant still is in the hospital, but her parents said they hope she will be home by her original due date in May.
New technological advancements are helping more premature babies survive and thrive.
A 2017 Duke University study reported that babies born at just 23 weeks gestation are surviving outside the womb at a greater rate than ever before. Researchers examined 4,500 babies between 2000 and 2011 and found a “small but significant drop in fatalities for babies born between 23 and 37 weeks gestation,” as well as a decrease in premature babies manifesting neurophysiological problems, the Daily Mail reported.
Late last year, the journal Pediatrics highlighted a baby girl in the United States who survived after being born 21 weeks and four days after conception. The girl, who now is 3, is believed to be the youngest premature baby to survive.