Monday, September 10, 2012
'Our little miracle': Premature baby born with head the size of a satsuma
Chloe Dolby, 26, went into labour on New Years’ Eve last year when she was only just over halfway through her pregnancy term.
When little Maya was born, she weighed just 1Ib 3ozs, and was kept in hospital for almost five months.
Maya’s head was the size of a satsuma and her hand barely covered the surface of her father David’s fingernail.
Mrs Dolby, from Mirfield, West Yorkshire, said: 'She was absolutely tiny. The hardest part was not being allowed to pick her up and cuddle - I had to wait five-and-a-half weeks to do that.
Mrs Dolby’s grandmother, Rhonda Bruce, 77, knitted a tiny hat for Maya as no clothing available to buy would fit her.
When the mother-to-be had a mild stomach ache on December 31, she thought it was something she had eaten, and did not imagine she was about to meet her daughter.
But, within just two hours, Mrs Dolby was at Dewsbury and District Hospital in labour, hoping her new arrival would survive.
She said: 'When I first went into labour, it never entered my head she might come early.
'We both knew what the odds were that she wouldn’t survive but we just tried to stay positive. The doctors were really calm and reassuring - I presume because they wanted to stop me from worrying.
'When Maya was born, she was taken away straight away and worked on by the team. She was just so tiny. I just held my husband’s hand and prayed.'
Maya was given a blood transfusion - one of nine she had in four months, and it is thanks to the quick and skilled delivery team at Dewsbury and District Hospital that Maya is alive today. She was then moved straight to Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) for more specialised care.
Mr Dolby, a 31-year-old plumber, said: 'I went in the ambulance with Maya to LGI.
'It was surreal seeing everyone out on New Years’ Eve dressed up and having a good time, and I was in an ambulance pleading for our little girl to be OK.
'We were lucky to get a place at LGI but we are so grateful we did - the medical staff there were incredible, what could have happened without them isn’t worth thinking about.'
While at LGI, Maya was given heart surgery to close a valve and allow more blood to flow properly, giving her more oxygen.
She also had laser eye surgery to save her sight as the blood vessels in her eyes were not properly developed.
Mrs Dolby said: 'Despite Maya having to go through all the operations and transfusions, we were more worried we would be told she had caught an infection.
'So many babies look like they’re getting there and then they pick up an infection and they don’t survive. It was just a terrifying time.'