A baby girl who was born at just 28 weeks, weighing 1lb 2oz, and given only a 10 per cent chance of survival has beaten the odds and is now ‘thriving’.
Millie, now aged 17 months, was born on 23rd January 2014 after her mother, Hayley Emerson, 29, from Gainsborough, knew something wasn’t right with her baby.
Hayley had previously lost a baby during her second trimester so was filled with worry and took herself to the hospital.
Hayley said: “Just hours later our baby, who was in distress, was to be born by emergency c-section, at just 28 weeks and two days.”
“Expecting a baby around two and ahalf pounds, doctors were shocked to deliver a very sick lb 2oz baby girl.”
“When she was born she was not breathing and her heart was very weak. She re-quired six minutes of cardiac massage and a further 10 minutes to stabilise her on a ventilator.”
“The doctors said if I had left it until the next day she would have not made it, she was very sick and fighting for her life. Never doubt your instincts as a parent, it is better to be safe than sorry.”
Millie needed specialist care so she was transferred to the neonatal unit at Nottingham City Hospital from Lincoln.
Hayley said: “The Lincoln team amazed me with their skills and knowledge, they saved my daughter’s life and got her to a place of extra care safely, I am so grateful to them.”
Millie faced a long fight ahead of her. She developed sepsis and her lungs collapsed, she was losing weight and she was battling chest and stomach infections.
Hayley said: “This tiny baby may have been very sick but she was fighting hard and every time the doctors gave her a treatment and said she would respond in a certain way, she did it her own way, we now call this Millie style.”
“Whatever she was faced with she bounced back a bit stronger than before. She really is a miracle.”
Just as it seemed like things were looking brighter, Millie was taken ill again when both her lungs collapsed and she had a fatal stomach infection.
A specialist was called from Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre as it was feared Millie wouldn’t survive the journey to the hospital.
Both Hayley and her husband, Phillip, were told to pre-pare themselves for the worst.
Hayley said: “Our hearts were broken. They said they had now done everything they could for Millie, they were giv-ing her every antibiotic they could and she was using the maximum setting on the ventilator, there was really nothing more they could do, it was all down to her now.”
“We sat all weekend waiting for her to slip away but very slowly she started to show ti-ny signs of improvement and a week later she was still with us.”
After months of ups and downs and more heartache it was decided that the best treatment for Millie was an in-tense course of steroids and she was be transferred to the children’s hospital at Queen’s Medical Centre.
At five-months-old and after six doses of steroid treat-ment, Hayley and Phillip were allowed to bring Millie home, only returning to the hospital for treatment.
Hayley said: “The rest of the year continued to be horrendous, spending a total of nine months out of 13 in hospital. We were constantly in and out of hospital with chest problems.”
In April this year, Millie had a life changing operation and since then she has learnt to sit, crawl, and is trying to stand herself up.
Hayley said: “Throughout all of this Millie remained a happy baby, always with a smile on her face.”
“Now a thriving 17-month-old she is really starting to catch up and it is looking very hopeful that she won’t have many, if any, long term future problems although we will have to wait and watch her grow to be certain.”
“We are jumping for joy at every little thing she does and every milestone she reaches, no matter how late.”
“Having a premature baby has had a massive impact on our lives both emotionally and financially but we want to bring hope of a happy ending to others. If sharing our story helps just one family then we have achieved what we set out to do.”
Hayley and Phillip also have three boys, and Phillip has a daughter from a previous relationship.
You can follow Millie’s journey on the Facebook page, Millie Rose - Life beyond pre-maturity.