Lifestyle

‘Doctors gave her 0-1 per cent chance of survival’: Baby born at 23 weeks proved doctors wrong

The odds were against little Meabh McArdle when she came into this world at only 23 weeks.

In fact, doctors gave her between 0 to 1 per cent chance of survival. However, baby Meabh proved all the doctors wrong. Read her incredible story of survival below…

maebh baby
Little Meabh. Source: Supplied

Against All Odds

Meabh was born on October 9, 2015, at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital – 17 weeks early. Meabh’s mum Fionnuala reveals her bub nearly arrived even earlier!

Preamature Maebh NICU
Meabh not long after she was born. Source: Supplied

“I was brought into the hospital when I was 22 weeks,” she tells The Healthy Mummy.

“I was dilated 2cm and doctors told me there was nothing they could do. If I didn’t hold my baby girl in until 24 weeks, she wouldn’t survive.”

fionuala with Maebh
Fionnuala with Meabh. Source: Supplied

Fionnuala says she prayed that her little one would hold off a little longer.

“Every day, I woke hoping and praying that I would keep her in another day,” she says. “I counted every hour. I sang to her and played nursery rhymes to my tummy.

“She kicked as I played Peter Rabbit, her favourite song.”

baby
Meabh was given 0-1 per cent chance survival. Source: Supplied

When Fionnuala was 22 weeks and five days, she was rushed to the delivery room and it was feared she would be going into labour.

“I begged for steroids,” Fionnuala says. “But the medical team were reluctant to give me then as they said my daughter had 0 to 1 per cent chance of survival. But I begged and the consultant gave the go ahead for me to have them.”

The labour didn’t progress, but two days later I went into labour. Meabh was born at 23 weeks weighing one pound [453 grams].

“Meabh was perfectly formed and so beautiful. In the first hours of seeing her, I sang her Peter Rabbit and what she did was remarkable.”

nauala
Meabh is a little warrior. Source: Supplied

Little Meabh began moving when she heard her mum singing (this incredible moment is captured in the video below).

Meabh is now 18 months old and thriving. In fact, she’s grown and is like any other baby her age.

Fionnuala has raised $18,000 for the neonatal unit in Belfast RVH but is hoping to raise even more money for the unit via her GoFund me page, as they are in need to breast pumps so mums can express and give their premature babies milk, as they are too little to feed.

“They are few and far between and I had to hand express on many occasions,” she says.

“Meabh’s story has given so much hope to so many other families in a similar situation to ours. Doctors told us she wouldn’t make it, but they were wrong. And I’m so glad they were. She’s such a little warrior.”

We’re welling up after watching that incredible video! Little Maebh is indeed a little warrior.

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Fionnuala.

Babies born at just 24 weeks have 66 per cent survival rate

premature baby

In Australia, around eight per cent of babies are born prematurely (before 37 weeks), claims Better Health Victoria.

However, in rare instances, some infants are simply too eager to enter the world. With today’s amazing technology and constant care from NICU staff, babies born at just 23 weeks’ gestation have survived.

Have a look at our inspiring premature infant stories to see just how amazing technology is in helping these teeny treasures thrive outside the womb.

Check out more health/kids health stories here or if you’re looking to connect with other mums for further support check out our New Mum Facebook Support Group.

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