Hospital’s Tiniest Premature Baby Heads Home, Weighed Less Than One Pound at Birth

International   Steven Ertelt   Oct 18, 2013   |   7:19PM    Ottawa, Canada

The tiniest baby ever born at McMaster University Medical Centre in Canada is finally headed home — months after her birth. Rachel Blythin was just 330 grams when she was born — so small that her father’s wedding ring can be seen wrapped around her leg in the accompanying picture.

Now, the beautiful little baby is headed home to be with her family after months of care at the hospital that saw her birth at jut a little over 28 weeks.

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The first time Ginger Blythin laid eyes on her tiny, premature, two-pound-twelve-ounce daughter Evelyn, she was stunned by her ​size — that is, until she saw Evelyn’s twin sister, Rachel.

“Evelyn looked small, but you can’t even appreciate what small is until you go across the room and see Rachel who’s two pounds smaller,” Blythin recalled of the day the girls were born by emergency C-section in June.

Blythin says her daughter’s head was no larger than a kiwi. Photos from after her birth show a baby that could easily have fit in her father’s hand, had she not been hooked up to life support machines.

This week, she came home for the first time after spending the first four and a half months of her life in McMaster’s neonatal intensive care unit. Now a healthy six pounds, twelve ounces, there was a time when it wasn’t likely she would survive.

“The odds were always against her,” Blythin said.

She and husband Neil — who also have a five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter — knew they were having twins but had decided to keep the gender a surprise. For the first few months, both Blythin and the babies looked healthy. But in April, they got a different kind of surprise: they were having twin girls and the girls were in trouble.

The girls were diagnosed with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and Rachel was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction. She wasn’t getting the blood she needed to grow and what blood she did get, she ended up passing off to her sister.

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Weeks of uncertainty went by. Eventually a doctor at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto performed a laser surgery to separate the girls’ placenta. Things were looking better, but a late May ultrasound showed both girls were now having trouble getting the fluids they needed to develop properly. On June 3, after a hurried name-brainstorming session with her husband, Blythin gave birth to the girls via emergency C-section.

At 28 and a half weeks in the pregnancy, both girls were expected to be small, but close to 500 grams. A neonatologist explained babies that are at least 28 weeks old and 500 grams have a pretty good chance of survival. Evelyn was 1,260 grams. Rachel was just 330 grams.