A baby born weighing less than a tub of butter, so small her hand could fit through her mother’s ring, has been dubbed a miracle after defying the odds to survive.
Abigail, who was three months premature, is now getting ready to go home for the first time after a staggering six months in hospital.
She had been given less than a 50 per cent chance of survival.
Parents Taryn Meijers and Owen Peters said the journey had been tough.
Ms Meijers gave birth to Abigail via emergency Caesarean section at just under 27 weeks.
At just under 27 weeks, Ms Meijers gave birth to Abigail via emergency Caesarean section. The tiny baby weighed just 422 grams
Within moments of Abigail’s birth, the tiny baby was placed on life support
The newborn had a condition known as fetal growth restriction and weighed just 422 grams.
The condition affects about 20 babies in Australia each year, and doctors say the odds of survival are low.
The bub was so tiny her hand could fit through her mother’s ring.
‘She was 422 grams, less than a can of corn, a tub of butter,’ Mr Peters told 9NEWS.
Within moments of her birth, the baby girl was placed on life support.
Neonatologist Dr Atul Malhotra, who was at Abigail’s delivery, said it was difficult getting a breathing tube into her tiny body and described the situation a ‘pretty touch and go’.
Mr Peters said that the family spent the next 179 days by Abigail’s bedside – taking her situation day-by-day – knowing there was only a 50 per cent chance or less of her survival.
Abigail’s parents Taryn Meijers (pictured right) and Owen Peters (pictured left) are getting ready to take their six-month-old daughter home
What is fetal growth restriction?
* A condition in which a baby doesn’t grow to normal weight during pregnancy
* Babies with this condition are born weighing less than 90 per cent of other babies at the same gestational age
* Causes of fetal growth restriction vary but include placenta abnormalities, high blood pressure in the mother, infections and smoking or alcohol abuse
Source: Mayo Clinic
There were a lot of things stacked against her,’ Mr Peters said.
The first-time parents are now able to take their six-month old daughter home, thanks to the work of staff and researchers at Monash Children’s Hospital.
‘One of the things that is great about Abby is that she’s not only going home and she survived, but she’s going home with a pretty bright future,’ Dr Malhotra said.
Although little Abigail is still at risk of cerebral palsy and development issues, ongoing medical advancements mean those health risks can be detected earlier.
‘Basically, she is a miracle,’ Mr Peters said.