A North Carolina baby girl was given just a 10-percent chance of survival when she was born at 22 weeks of pregnancy in July.
But Lyric’s health is improving every day. The Sun reports her parents, Lura Lauer and Ricky Garcia, of Charlotte, recently shared her miraculous survival story to help people understand that babies at such an early stage of pregnancy are valuable human beings who deserve medical care.
Lauer told The Sun that they did lose Lyric’s twin, Cali, two days after the girls were born. Though the experience was a nightmare, she said she is trying to stay positive and hopeful for Lyric’s sake.
In early July, Lauer said she visited her OB-GYN after she began experiencing false labor pains, but the doctor told her that everything looked normal.
On July 14, however, she said she felt the pain worsen, and she was unable to sleep. The next morning, she called the hospital and was told to go in right away.
“I was horrified and asked, ‘Does that mean I’m going into labor’?” she said. “They said, ‘We’re going to do what we can to stop the labor process,’ because I was only 22 weeks and two days at that point.”
Frightened for her baby girls, Lauer said she received even more bad news from the neonatal doctor. He told her that their hospital did not resuscitate premature babies born before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
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“He said if I was to give birth that day, I would have to say goodbye because they’re not viable at that age,” she remembered. “They said they didn’t have the capability to care for babies that young. It felt like a nightmare.”
Lauer said she and her fiance decided to transfer to another hospital with a better neonatal intensive care unit; and several hours later, their daughters were born.
According to the report, Lyric was born first, weighing 1 pound, 2 ounces. Cali arrived three minutes later, weighing 1 pound, 1 ounce, according to the report.
“I heard both of them cry, and they both were breathing, which was a good sign, but they were immediately rushed out of the room before I got to hold them,” Lauer said.
On July 17, Cali took a turn for the worse when doctors discovered a severe brain hemorrhage, according to the report. As her health continued to decline, Lauer said they made the heartbreaking decision to take Cali off a ventilator.
“Even though she was only here for a couple of days, she made such a big impact on our lives,” her mother said. “She was very active in the womb. She was the one who kicked me and punched me the most. I think her spirit was a lot stronger than her physical body.”
Lyric also suffered from a brain hemorrhage and other problems, but her parents said her health is improving.
“She’s such a little fighter and the nurses and doctors have been taking great care of her,” her mother said. “… The doctor’s exact words were ‘she is amazing us every day,’ she is truly a miracle.”
Lauer said she decided to share their story publicly because she wants families to know that premature babies at 22 weeks deserve care.
She told The Sun:
Lyric is classed as a micro-preemie. She’s the youngest in her NICU and I know many doctors don’t class anyone under 24 weeks to be viable, although I think that’s ridiculous.
Since I posted her pictures on social media, I’ve had mums from all over the world, from Istanbul to Canada, reach out with stories of 22 weekers surviving and thriving.
It just baffles me that so many hospitals don’t resuscitate at that age, because it is absolutely possible for a baby to survive.
I think Lyric is an example that – even when the doctors are unsure – hope, faith, determination and love are such powerful energies. I believe that’s what’s keeping our daughter alive.
The chance of survival for premature babies is growing. Research recently prompted the British Association of Medicine to issue new guidelines encouraging medical treatment for babies born at 22 weeks of pregnancy. Previously, the guidelines did not recommend treatment until 24 weeks.
The earliest known premature baby to survive outside the womb was born at 21 weeks and four days of pregnancy. In 2017, the journal Pediatrics highlighted the girl’s survival story.
The smallest recorded surviving baby weighed less than 9 ounces at birth. Born in California in December 2018, baby Saybie was deemed well enough to go home five months later.
Recently, The Federalist summarized several studies that show increasing survival rates for babies born at 22 weeks and 23 weeks of pregnancy. However, it noted that, despite the encouraging trend, many U.S. hospitals still do not treat premature babies who are born at 22 weeks of pregnancy.