Houston miracle baby survives extreme premature birth, born at 23 weeks
HOUSTON - It was a Mother's Day to truly cherish for a young mom in The Woodlands. Her beloved daughter survived one challenge after another. Now they're enjoying every moment with this miracle baby. Madelyn Mire was born weighing only one pound, four ounces. The frightening journey began when her mother, Jennilee, was 20 weeks pregnant.
"Everything was going really well until then! I almost skipped that appointment, so there are a whole lot of miracles surrounding that, but I found out my cervix was 100% effaced," explains Jennilee. That's considered a medical emergency and could have forced Jennilee into labor at any moment, so doctors performed a procedure to try to delay it.
At that point, Jennilee was told she had to get to 24-week pregnancy, or her baby wouldn't survive. They had already been through so much. "Our previous daughter was born at 26 weeks, she actually passed away. And so, we this was our rainbow baby and here we are, going through this again," explains Jennilee.
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They transferred to a hospital in the Texas Medical Center with a Level 4 Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit, equipped and staffed to help dangerously ill or premature newborns. Tiny Madelyn was born at 23 weeks and two days and the courageous feats to save her life began. She and her mom had the same infection.
"She had contracted E. coli, which was her most immediate danger at the time. It crossed the blood-brain barrier, because when they're that small, they don't really have one, and it became meningitis. She also had a brain bleed and cysts on her brain. She had respiratory distress syndrome, which most of the preemies do, but she was on a ventilator for that. She had a heart PDA, which is an issue that they have when born preterm. And then of course they're always worried about their eyes and are hearing when they're that small," states Jennilee.
Jennilee went into action beyond medicine to save her newborn. "I went in ready for battle, spiritual battle and I just started praying and casting death off of her, pleading the blood of Jesus over her. I had actually been introduced to a ministry called The Supernatural Life and had some spiritual deliverance in my life, and it really opened my eyes to the fact that we're in a spiritual battle. In Mark 16: 17-18, it says that the signs shall follow those who believe and at the end of that, it says they shall lay hands on the stick, and they will be healed and I knew that I had seen healings right in front of my eyes," says Jennilee.
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"So, I was praying over her (Madelyn) for hours and I had run into the doctor on the way out of the hospital that evening, and they had repeated the spinal tap that day. The doctor stopped me and said, 'we don't know what happened, but it's not there and there's no sign of the necrotizing whatever it's called, the brain is not dying, and we don't see the meningitis.' I almost collapsed, and the doctor caught me and told me to keep praying," she added.
From that day on, Jennilee says little Madelyn began to thrive. "The brain bleeds stopped, and it started drying up, the cysts started shriveling up, and her heart PDA closed in time," says Jennilee.
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PDA stands for patent ductus arteriosus, which is a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart. "We have come so far! At first, it's just it's a lot of feelings of helplessness and not knowing what to expect. We went through this before, and when it was happening again, it was hard not to think the worst up front with Jennilee going into labor again," said Madelyn’s dad and Jennilee’s husband, Jacob. "All I could do was just get into reaction mode. Just basically be there for support and continue to pray. It really does bring out the most in faith, just sitting there praying, hoping for the best, and relying on God."
Madelyn is now a healthy and happy 1-year-old, but it was challenging when they brought her home at 37 weeks gestational age. "We needed to make sure her environment is just as well as the NICU and just watching every little heartbeat we put have the heartbeat monitor on her and just kind of sit there and watch it on our phones and we just, we stayed up I would say more than a normal parent just because she was so precious to us from all she has been through. She's got every, all the attributes of a normal kid. She's perfect in every way and God is good. He has blessed us. He's showing us miracles through her, and we continue to see them each and every day," says Jacob.
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"The doctor told us that they had never seen a 23-week-old or release in her care that early that it was a miracle. Her discharge papers actually say miracle, they actually say that her stay was miraculous. Every doctor that we talked to said that's a miracle. It's a miracle that happened to her that she recovered that she's a 23 weaker and there's nothing wrong with her. She's perfect. She doesn't have any delays. No health effects, no cerebral palsy. Just nothing and her eyes are perfect. She's unreal," says a smiling Jennilee.
The Mire's believe a natural approach helped in Madelyn's healing as well, they didn't allow vaccinations when she was only two pounds, and her dad was her blood donor. They also want families to realize we have two centers in Houston known for saving micro-preemies, like Madelyn. If they hadn't found out to transfer hospitals, it's unlikely Madelyn would've survived.
For more information about extremely premature birth, click here.