'One doctor suggested I abort her': Against all odds Kenna, one of the world's smallest surviving babies, born weighing just 9.5oz, finally goes home
15:37 GMT, 12 July 2012
15:51 GMT, 12 July 2012
Born weighing just 9.5 ounces, smaller than a can of soda, Kenna Claire Moore is recorded as the fourth-smallest surviving baby in the world.
After spending the first six months of her life in intensive care, when she finally left Presbyterian Hemby Children's Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, it was no ordinary discharge.
Born at only 25 weeks – a typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks – doctors were not sure how long little Kenna would survive, but after 183 days of fighting for her life, parents Nicki and Sam Moore finally got to take her home in what they said was 'the happiest day of our life'.
Fighting for survival: Born weighing just 9.5 ounces, smaller than a can of soda, Kenna Claire Moore is recorded as the fourth-smallest surviving baby in the world
Mrs Moore, 39, was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced high blood pressure at 20 weeks, and a fortnight later, an ultrasound showed that Kenna had stopped growing.
'One of the doctors suggested I consider an abortion, but that was off the table,' she said.
According to Dr. Edward Bell of the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, and the founder of The Tiniest Babies registry, the survival rate for babies in most U.S. hospitals at 24 weeks is just 60per cent.
Dr. Rogers Howell, Kenna's neonatologist, explained to ABC: 'When she was born, the baby, the placenta and the bag of water came out together.
'Once the placenta comes loose, there's no way to breathe anymore and we had to open the bag of water.'
Mother and daughter: Born at only 25 weeks – a typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks – doctors were not sure how long little Kenna, pictured at two months old, would survive
Holding on tight: According to Dr. Edward Bell of the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, the survival rate for babies in most U.S. hospitals at 25 weeks is just 60per cent
Doctors then had to put in breathing tubes, and feeding tubes, as she was unable to take her mother's milk right away, a difficult and delicate task in a baby as small as Kenna.
She also developed hernias, abnormal
blood vessel development in her retinas, and necrotizing enterocolitis, a
condition in premature infants that leads to the death of intestinal
The couple spent most of the past six months in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit where Kenna received care.
So when Mrs Moore was finally able to
take her baby girl home on Tuesday, weighing now weighing 6lbs, she had
trouble believing it.
Tiny: Mrs Moore was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced high blood pressure at 20 weeks, and a fortnight later, an ultrasound showed that Kenna, pictured at one-month-old, had stopped growing
Growing up: Kenna pictured at two months old (left) and six months old (right)
'It was just a really surreal
experience because for six months, we had joked about the day that we’d
get to walk through the doors,' she said.
However it is still a long, uncertain road ahead.
Howell said: 'She will go home on oxygen, and will need nipple
feedings, some tube feedings, vitamins and other medications.'
always the fear that some things could go wrong,' Mrs Moore added. 'But
that’s with every baby, every baby that you bring home. I think that
we’re really lucky because we have very strong support between the
nurses and doctors.'
Home time: After 183 days in neonatal intensive care, her parents, Nicki and Sam Moore got to take Kenna home in what they said was 'the happiest day of our life'
She added that she hopes Kenna will help to inspire others who are going through hard times.
'By sharing the challenges we faced and this experience, we hope it will help people who are going through something similar and can't find any words of hope,' she said.
'You have to find something to hold onto and try to find the positive in everything.'