Ireland’s smallest surviving premmie weighed just 390g at birth

Posted in Newborn.

Katie Keogh’s baby girl Charlotte was born – very early – a couple of months ago. She’s the second child for this amazing mum and her husband Kev, who lost their first little boy to stillbirth a year ago as a result of the rare inflammatory condition Chronic Histiocytic Intervillositis  (CHI). This condition results in the placenta failing – which is often terrible news for growing babies.

A rare, recurring condition

Baby Charlotte’s pregnancy was also affected by CHI which is known to recur in families. When Katie fell pregnant for the second time, she did a lot of research in the hopes that it might prepare her for this next birth.

This tiny girl was successfully delivered by c-section on 20 June, but she was severely growth restricted due to those CHI related placental problems.

Sharing news of his baby’s arrival on Facebook, new dad Kev explained that Charlotte is a tiny fighter.

“She is breathing on her own and has an amazing team giving her the best chance of life,” he wrote. “She is so active and strong, yet so fragile, it’s really hard to comprehend.”

“Our pint-sized princess, was born at 27 weeks, after conditions in the womb proved to be not ideal, the decision was made to take her out to be able to get her the care she needs, and she’s thriving.”

“It’s still very early days, we know we have a long road ahead of us, but we are feeling really good and confident about our little girl. Here are a couple of pictures, only hours old, and one day old getting her tan started and throwing gang signs.”

20th June 2019 at 2:11pm, our little girl Charlotte Bridget Monahan arrived into the world, kicking and punching her way…

Posted by Kev Monahan on Friday, June 21, 2019

A difficult journey

New mum Katie’s written a long piece for The Journal detailing the first weeks of new parent life with her and Kev’s beautiful bub.

She’s obviously super grateful that she’s getting such great medical care, but also revealed that doctors don’t really know how to treat this condition yet.

Katie’s story provides a glimpse into the difficult routine that parents of premmie babies have to navigate. 

After the loss of her first baby, Katie took time off to cope with anxiety and depression. She then returned to work and months later fell pregnant, but the fact that Charlotte arrived so early coupled with the time she’d taken away to mend her mental health meant that she was not entitled to maternity leave.

This means that the financial pressures on this couple are huge, surviving on one income and spending every day travelling back and forth to the hospital to spend time with Charlotte.

It’s a situation many parents of premmies will be sadly familiar with.

A baby at last

On top of all that, Katie’s expressing milk 3 hourly, in a quest to give her daughter the very best chance to thrive, planning her life around pumping sessions.

At the moment it’s not clear when the couple’s wee girl will be allowed to head home, but Katie hopes this big moment is not too far away.

“She has to get to 2.2 kg in weight before there is a possibility of her coming home and she is 1.9 kg now, so she’s getting there,” Katie writes for The Journal.

“We just need to work on feeding and breathing. Charlotte tried her first bottle recently and she guzzled it and absolutely loved it. I finally feel like I have a baby now.”

Huge congratulations to this lovely pair on their gorgeous girl.


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