Baby Meabh McArdle is being called a miracle after being given just a 0-1% chance of survival. Born 4 months early, at 23 weeks and 3 days gestation, there was little hope for her, but her mother knew immediately that her daughter was a fighter.
After suffering three miscarriages, Fionnuala McArdle endured surgery to fix a malformation in her uterus that split it into two, causing her to miscarry. Two months later she discovered she was pregnant.
“I was over the moon. I had to go up and down to the hospital and everything was great,” she told Belfast Live. “At the 12 weeks scan all was going brilliant and at the scan to find the gender I was told it was a girl, and at 20 weeks everything was growing perfectly.”
However, things quickly went from good to frightening when at 22 weeks gestation it was discovered that McArdle was 2cm dilated with bulging membranes. She was admitted to the hospital on bed rest.
“I was told if my daughter was born at 22 weeks she would not survive,” she said.
Just a few days later, McArdle’s water broke, and doctors prepared her for the worst.
Baby Meabh was born weighing just one pound and a half an ounce. Doctors offered little hope for her survival.
“It went so quickly, I did not have time to think about it,” McArdle explained. “I said if there is any sign of life I wanted her worked with.”
Meabh was put on a ventilator and had a rough start, but she has continued to improve. At just five weeks old she had heart surgery and at 3 months had surgery on her eyes.
“She was one of the smallest babies […] but now she is one of the biggest. She went from being one of the sickest to one of the best,” said McArdle. “She was not supposed to be here but I would not give up on her after everything I had been through.”
Despite the fact they are viable human beings, babies Meabh’s age and older are legally aborted in the United States using a brutal procedure known as D&E. They are pulled apart limb by limb and suffer greatly.
McArdle is so grateful to the neonatal intensive care staff at Royal Victoria Hospital that she opened a Crowdfunding page to raise money to help the hospital purchase equipment and help more premature babies survive.