A baby born weighing less than a loaf of bread at just 535g has finally returned home after five months in hospital fighting for her life.
Lauren Ormston, 27, gave birth at just 23 weeks after going into premature labour at St Peter’s Hospital, Surrey, UK on 4th March 2022.
Agonizingly for the parents, Lauren and her fiance Oliver Dewey, 31, doctors gave baby Isla just a 10% chance of survival as she was so small.
On the 23rd week, first-time mum, Lauren, Healthcare facilitator, was induced and gave birth in two hours with only gas and air. Baby Isla was rushed to the neonatal unit and was later diagnosed with level two bleed on the brain and a hole in the heart. After spending five months in a hospital, Isla, now 10lb 8oz, was finally discharged on July 12th 2022.
Lauren, from Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, said: ‘I started getting terrible stomach pains and I just thought the baby was moving around, but when the pain intensified, I knew something was wrong.’
‘They suggested getting transferred to a bigger hospital which would increase the chance to 30%.
‘It was terrifying.
‘But I had to take the chance, and I’m so glad I did.
‘The birth was easy, and I only had gas and air.
‘I could only cuddle Isla for six minutes before she was taken to a ventilator.
‘She looked so small and fragile, like she would snap at the slightest bit of movement.
‘I was so worried, but I knew my baby girl was a fighter.
‘It’s a miracle that she survived.’
Isla needed to be put on a ventilator when she was born, as she was unable to breathe on her own.
Lauren said: ‘Her skin was transparent, I could see every little vein within her body.
‘I lived each day, never knowing if she would make it, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.
‘After six weeks, she came off the ventilator but needed an oxygen mask over her face.
‘We had our first cuddle, and her little hand was barely the size of the tip of my husband’s pinky finger.’
She underwent surgery to try and repair it on 15 June 2022, but the operation was unsuccessful, which meant Isla lost vision in that eye.
Lauren said: ‘Out of everything that Isla battled to just be alive, losing an eye isn’t the worse that could’ve happened.
‘Isla’s right eye is still functional and can move, but the detachment of the retina means that Isla has lost all vision.
Finally, on 12 July, Isla, who’s now eight months old was able to leave the hospital and spend the night in her own room for the very first time.
Lauren said: ‘It was a rollercoaster, and I’m so over the moon that Isla is home and happy.
‘I’m still in disbelief that our scan at 20 weeks came back fine, and I was rushed to hospital just two weeks later.
‘It’s so important to pay attention to those pains and trust your gut.
‘She was so tiny when she was born, it felt like she’d never make it, but to see her now is like a miracle.
‘Isla is a bundle of joy, and we couldn’t be happier with the little girl we have now.
‘We plan on taking Isla on a trip now that she’s off assisted oxygen.
‘We are so proud of her for fighting, and now we get to enjoy every minute in the comfort of our own home.’