One UK woman never thought she’d be a mother since she had been told her entire life that there were problems with her ovaries, making it impossible to conceive.
But at 37 years old, Victoria Bradley and her partner Paul Curran, 46, found out they were expecting their first miracle baby. The first few months of the pregnancy were completely normal, but right after they reached 24 weeks, Victoria started experiencing stomach and back problems.
To be safe, Victoria went to the hospital and was admitted for testing. The next morning, just two days after the cut-off for getting an abortion, doctors told her she was in labor, and she gave birth to her small daughter shortly after. It took baby Francesca 11 minutes to take her first breath, but she was alive. If she had born just a few days earlier, the doctors wouldn’t have even tried to save her, since babies born before 24 weeks aren’t deemed ‘viable’ because their survival rates are so low.
“I didn’t think she would be here. It’s scary to think if she had been just two days earlier they wouldn’t have worked to save her,” Victoria said. Baby Francesca was immediately put on life support, but at just one 1lb 6oz, no one thought she’d survive. “I thought she still looked like a fetus. Her skin was see-through, and she didn’t have eyelashes or eyebrows. Her eyes weren’t open yet,” Victoria said about her baby, whose feet were the size of pennies. “She was just tiny, and so poorly. We were told it was hour by hour with her, and they didn’t think she would survive. Her blood was full of infections.”
Babies born after 24 weeks still face plenty of life-threatening conditions, and in the weeks after her birth, Francesca underwent 15 blood transfusions, had laser eye surgery to keep her from going blind, fought off meningitis, sepsis, two cases of collapsed lungs, and kidney problems.
Despite everything, baby Francesca kept getting stronger and stunned doctors when she came off her incubator in just eight weeks. And 17 weeks after birth, the miracle baby was strong enough to go home without needing any medication, wires, or oxygen. “It’s just great to finally have her home.”
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