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Tiny baby born at 25 weeks weighing as much as a bag of sugar celebrates her first birthday at home

Born at 25 weeks weighing just 1lb 10oz, baby Emmie made it home in time to celebrate her first birthday.

Vanessa Lewis, 30, and Matthew Lewis, 37, from Cwmbran in South Wales, were expecting to welcome their little girl Emmie on 27 November but their daughter had different plans.

The couple were thrilled to be expecting after they had suffered a miscarriage the previous year, and everything seemed to be going so well. After experiencing spotting at 24 weeks, Vanessa went into triage and was told that everything was fine. But she soon discovered that things were not going as well as she thought.

“We were told Emmie’s heart beat was perfect and there were no concerns”, she explained.

“However on further examination I was told I was actually 4cm dilated and my waters were bulging so I needed to be given steroids immediately and taken down to HDU (the High Dependency Unit) as she could be born at any time”.

Born at 25 weeks weighing 1lb 10oz

Within a few days, on 15 August, Emmie was born. She had to be intubated immediately and wrapped in plastic to keep her warm. No skin-to-skin contact was possible, but fortunately her parents were able to hold her briefly before she was put into an incubator. A few hours later, they were able to visit their little daughter at the NICU (Neonatal Care Unit).

“Spending hours and hours at the hospital while Emmie was on NICU was tough”, her Mum recalled. 

“Although we knew she was there because she needed that little bit of extra help, it wasn’t a normal situation to be in with a newborn”.

Involve yourself as much as you can in the baby’s care

“Bringing a little human into this world is a big thing in itself. But when you find yourself with a prem baby who you can’t take home at the end of each day and you see other families taking their babies home it is hard”.

For Emmie’s Mum, it was essential to be involved in her baby’s care as much as possible. 

“There’s so many things we were still able to help with such as nappy changes, feeding through the feeding tube, taking her temperature, giving her a wash and changing her clothes when she was eventually big enough to wear clothes that is!”

“Although all the tubes and wires are daunting, don’t let it put you off getting involved. Babies are precious but they’re also very resilient”, explained Vanessa.

Overcoming all the expectations, Emmie had her first birthday in August

Overcoming all expectations, the little fighter gained weight and, over time, needed less support.

“When they initially removed her breathing support, that was a huge moment for us”.

After 82 days in hospital, the little girl was able to return to her home and even after being born so prematurely, was able to go home for her birthday. 

“We would just like to thank all the midwives, neonatal nurses, consultants and other members of staff at the Grange Hospital”, her parents added.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said “At 25 weeks, Emmie was born just one week after the abortion limit. We rightly celebrate her little triumph but it remains deeply sad that tiny babies like her can be aborted just one week earlier.”

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.