Premature babies have a better chance of surviving outside the womb than ever before thanks to new medical technology focused on saving lives.
Little Emie Scott is one example. The UK baby celebrated her first birthday last week after she was born weighing just 1 pound 11 ounces, the Swindon Advertiser reports.
Last year, doctors asked Jo and Chris Scott, of Cricklade, UK to consider having an abortion after they noticed that Emie was much smaller than she was supposed to be, according to the report.
At first, doctors thought Emie might have Down syndrome, but a test ruled out that possibility, according to the report. Because the unborn girl was so small for her age, doctors later thought she might have triploidy, a rare chromosomal disorder that usually is fatal, the report states. At one point, the Scotts said doctors predicted that Emie’s chances of dying were 85 percent.
The family rejected doctors’ suggestions to have an abortion and clung to the hope that their daughter would live.
“I said no, I’m not going down that route. If she dies nature will take its course, but I was not going to be the one who did it,” Jo said.
Jo, who works as a midwife, said she could feel Emie wiggling around in her womb, and it gave her hope.
“We tell women that an active baby is a healthy baby,” she said. “At the scans, she was moving so much, even the nurses were surprised.”
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However, more problems arose. One pregnancy scan found that Jo’s placenta was not attached properly, a reason for Emie’s small size. Then at 31 weeks of pregnancy, Emie had to be delivered prematurely because Jo developed a rare, life-threatening liver and blood clotting disorder, according to the report.
Emie was born on Oct. 5, weighing just 1 pound, 11 ounces, according to the report. She spent more than two months in the hospital but made it home in time for Christmas, her family said. Last week, the family celebrated Emie’s first birthday.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with her other than the fact she is tiny. I can’t believe she is a year old already,” her mother said. “She’s so cheeky. She will do things and she will smile at you whilst she’s doing them because she knows she not supposed to be doing something.”
Tiny premature babies like Emie are defying the odds and surviving outside the womb more than ever before. Another baby named Rachel Blythin was born in 2013 weighing less than 1 pound at birth, after just 28 weeks in the womb. She also spent several months in the hospital before heading home to be with her family.
A study published in 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine provides more hope for families of premature infants. The researchers found that 23 percent of infants born after just 22 weeks in the womb survived.