Baby Girl Was Born Smaller Than A Barbie Doll
A tiny baby girl has survived after being born smaller than a Barbie doll and weighing less than a pound.
Little Kallie Bender was born at just 25 weeks gestation, so early her mother hadn't yet felt her kicking in her stomach when she was born by C-section.
But despite it all, Kallie has been allowed to go home with her mum Ebonie and dad Dameon after 150 days in hospital, reaching 7lbs.
Born 15 weeks early on 24th May 2019, Kallie was one of the smallest babies ever born at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center, in the Phoenix Arizona hospital.
At the time, her father could fit his wedding ring round her wrist as an oversized bracelet while even the hospitals smallest issue nappy was far too big for Kallie.
The micro-preemie baby weighed just 13oz on her first weigh-in and her parents couldn't even have their first cuddled with her until 37 days after she was born.
Mum Ebonie was called in when a scan showed Kallie's head was measuring small, and there was lack of fluid around the baby, caused by a condition called absent end diastolic flow.
Ebonie, who also has three sons with her husband, told Good Morning America she was "scared" around the time of Kallie's birth, adding: "It was so much fear of the unknown."
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Spending months in hospital, Kallie even had to undergo a complex heart procedure by a surgeons at St. Joseph's after she was diagnosed with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a common heart defect among micro-preemies.
"She's a feisty girl," added Ebonie.
Dr. Vinit Manuel, medical director of the nursery intensive care unit (NICU) at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, told GMA: "No technology can replace the womb," and that for that reason, "the involvement of the family in the care of these babies is crucial."
Manuel added the Benders were "very involved from day one. They were by her bedside, reading to her. It's not possible to quantify, but research shows it's very important for the baby's development."
"We're thrilled that after nearly five months Kallie is going home with he family," Becky Cole, Kallie's primary nurse, told the news station.
"We've loved being able to watch her grow and are excited for her to celebrate many milestones in the future with her parents and brothers."
"It's bittersweet to leave," mum Ebonie added. "But she's an amazing little fighter and I can't wait to see the personality she brings to our family."
Congratulations to the happy family!
Featured Image Credit: Good Morning America