Weighing 1.3 pounds when he was born at 33 weeks, little Brooks defied all odds. Based on all complications in the pregnancy, it is a miracle that he was even born alive. The doctors had diagnosed that if he was not a stillborn, he was only going to survive a few minutes in his parents’ hands. On Monday, March 24th, 136 days later after an eventful journey at the NICU, the baby boy was discharged from the hospital and now is at home with his loving family. For Matt and Allison Bailey, this is a true happy ending to a scary ordeal of nearly losing their firstborn.
Matt and Allison Bailey found out they would be first time parents in the Spring of 2013. Allison says that the first few months of pregnancy were uneventful and smooth. “We found out in July that we were having a boy. We were really excited; we both wanted a boy.” But a few weeks later, their anticipation was dampened. “I don’t know how to explain it, I just felt bad. Something felt awkward,” says Allison. An ultrasound revealed that baby Bailey was small in his measurements; he was behind what was normal for his gestational age. The doctors were worried enough to send them to the high-risk pregnancy consultants at the University of Tennessee hospital where they ran tests. They gave Matt and Allison a list of reasons that might explain his condition. The Baileys were told diagnoses ranging from spina bifida to chromosomal disorders. “Basically, they told us, ‘we don’t know what’s wrong, but we don’t think he is going to make it.’” The doctors told them that stillbirth would be the most likely case if he made it to gestation, and best case scenario, Matt and Allison would get a few minutes with their son.
But Matt and Allison decided that they were not ready to give up. “We decided that as long as he is fighting, we should fight with him,” says Matt. So that is what they did. And then the day came. At a regular checkup on Friday, Nov. 8, Matt and Allison learned there were problems with the umbilical blood flow, which indicated a restriction or failure in the placenta. Doctors recommended delivery by cesarean section two days later. “The doctor told us that he did not think he would make it, that his lungs were too small for him to survive birth.” But, the doctor told them that if he cried when they pulled him out, there was a chance, a very small one, but a chance. They took Allison into surgery while Matt was left to wait. The surgery was short, and Matt watched Allison’s eyes from outside the room to gauge the situation. The doctor pulled Brooks out, and Allison says that she heard him cry. It was faint, but he was crying. “I had not cried through the whole process, but the second I heard him, I lost it,” she says of that moment. She knew there was hope.
The scale weighing him at one pound, three ounces at his birth makes him the smallest 33-week-old ever recorded. Says Matt, “The doctors told us after he was born that there is literally no scientific explanation for why he survived.” It hasn’t been an easy road and they are uncertain of what the future holds but they say they draw their strength from one another, their faith, and watching their son fight for life. “It is incredibly uplifting,” Matt says. The struggle and the pain have led them towards a deeper faith as they watch their boy fight for life in a way that exceeds what they thought was possible. “We wouldn’t change anything about this process,” Matt says. “Although we would be okay if he decided to not ever play any contact sports or drive,” Allison laughs.
Original story: Brooks Nation
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Brooks Nation: A 1.3 Pound Baby Miraculous Triumph