A premature baby who was so small at birth that she weighed the same as a loaf of bread has made a remarkable recovery. Now, her family is looking forward to celebrating their first Christmas together.
When Sophie James was 25 weeks pregnant, her water broke, and she gave birth to her premature little girl, Marley, who weighed just 750 grams at birth — roughly the same as a loaf of bread. According to The Mirror, she had a number of health issues due to her early arrival, including renal failure and a brain bleed. She also suffered from a condition called hypercalcemia, which meant that she had too much calcium in her blood.
“Doctors were stumped about why it was happening. In the end she was taken off calcium completely,” Sophie explained. “So that meant she was taken off my breast milk and was living on bags of vitamins. She barely grew in four weeks. Then she started on a low calcium version of formula called Locasol, and eventually she was allowed my breast milk.”
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Sophie and her partner, Lloyd Hayes, spent the next weeks at Marley’s side while she was in the NICU.
“All we saw was Marley, and we thought we’ve got to deal with this. The doctors said she would need everything done for her to keep her alive, so she was incubated and put straight on a ventilator,” Sophie said.
“We visited her everyday, and from the 23rd April we were able to move into a room at the Ronald McDonald house on the Arrowe site, and we’re so grateful for their support.”
After 102 days in the hospital, Marley had made it through the worst of her health issues and was well enough to go home with her parents. “Two weeks before we came home, she suddenly got better,” Sophie said. “It seemed as her body developed and it sorted itself out, and the issues resolved themselves. It was amazing. She clearly just needed a bit of time and she was right as rain.”
The family said they plan to go “all out” to celebrate their little girl’s first Christmas.
“At one point we didn’t even think she’d see her first Christmas. It was something I didn’t even dare hope for,” Sophie said. “She couldn’t even drink my milk and wasn’t growing at all, it was awful. We cannot wait to have a first Christmas as a family of three, it’s just going to be amazing.”