Monday, August 4, 2008
Can you imagine a baby being born at only 27 gestational weeks? What hope could there be for such a child?
This is a picture of my friend Gina's youngest, Elly Therese, not long after she was born at that point of development.
Early in the third trimester of the pregnancy Gina and her husband Joe were told that Elly had stopped developing. Gina was admitted to the hospital and began a course of steroids so as to try to speed the development of Elly's lungs in preparation for an extremely early birth. This is Elly's picture at the time it was determined that Gina had to be hospitalized:
Well, less than 12 hours after Gina was admitted to the hospital, Elly was born. She was a petite 1 pound, 9 ounces at birth. A micro-preemie, Elly was a mere 13 inches long - but because of her sheer lack of "volume" she seemed so long when I first met her in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Can you imagine a spindly 13" person? That was Elly. Even amid all the tubes and whatnot, she was still a pretty baby.
Elly's stay in the NICU was short considering her birth weight. Of course, it didn't seem that way to her parents and siblings. She was released from the hospital after three months of care.
In this picture, the little one in the baby doll cradle is Elly at 3 months and 3 weeks of age. I think the "baby" next to the the cradle is bigger than the real baby inside.
So, why am I telling you about Little Elly?
You see she is not so little anymore. In fact, she is a big girl.
Elly is a big girl who has beat many odds. She is a big girl who is loved in a big way. Although her older brother is at an age when boys are want to say that they hate all girls, he can't because he adores his sweet baby sister. Equally, she is doted on by her two sisters. And, if truth be told, she has both her parents wrapped around her little big girl pinky!
Yes, Elly has become a big girl. A big girl who turns two today!!
Happy Birthday, Elly!!!!!!!