A baby born more than three months earlier was forced to spend his first days in the neonatal intensive care unit of a local hospital wrapped in special blankets. Fortunately, her story had a happy ending.
Scottish mother Channae Kirkwood gave birth in July this year without even realizing it as she was only 28 weeks pregnant.
Following a series of increasingly unbearable ailments, the 23-year-old was rushed to hospital, where doctors informed her that she was about to have a baby. Kirkwood braced for the worst but eventually gave birth to a baby girl, Lacey Murray, 13 weeks premature.
Although it was a tiny little package, the little girl’s parents were just happy that she came into the world safely, given the obstacles that had surrounded her from conception.
The new mom found out about her pregnancy last year after randomly going to Crosshouse Hospital to complain about her incessant upset stomach.
During the visit, she underwent a mandatory urine test while waiting to see the doctor. Moments later, a nurse approached her with pain relievers, asking if she didn’t mind taking them during her pregnancy.
The accidental discovery left the woman in shock, an initial sentiment shared by her partner Jamie Murray. However, Kirkwood and Murray quickly got over the initial shock and spent the following months preparing for their new arrival.
At 24 weeks, the Kilmarnock native suffered a severe hemorrhage and ended up in Crosshouse Hospital again. The clinic transferred her to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow, where she spent the following week on admission.
The following weeks saw Kirkwood walk in and out of hospitals as she struggled to keep her baby alive, even giving up her job as a caregiver.
She went through excruciating times until July 9, when her condition suddenly worsened. She kept vomiting, unable to hold back food or water, prompting her to return to the hospital.
There, doctors discovered that his water had ruptured. She spent the next five days under close surveillance at the Ayrshire Maternity Unit, fearing she was on the verge of losing her baby.
The idea was unbearable for the young mother, who had known a stillborn child as a teenager just 19 weeks pregnant. She
“With Lacey, I was a little further away so I think it helped her a lot. I was just hoping and praying that the same thing wouldn’t happen again. I was terrified.”
Fortunately, Kirkwood received answers to his prayers, welcoming his baby girl on July 14. The child was so small that her parents could not hold her for the first three days of her life.
None of the baby clothes available could fit her either, given her size. Kirkwood had to try on doll clothes on the girl, but those also turned out to be too big.
In the end, the doctors carefully wrapped the premature baby in bubble wrap to keep him warm and placed him in the incubator of the neonatal intensive care units.
Doctors prepared parents for the worst, advising them that their baby had a low chance of survival. Miraculously, Lacey began to eat, breathe and gain weight normally within four weeks, defying the odds.
Nine weeks later, she was certified healthy enough to return home with her family. Although still a small package, Lacey has proven to be a survivor, leading a life like any other at her age, and can even fit into fabric sizes in the “little baby” range.