Indianna Elizabeth, 24 Weeks

Miracle baby Indiana was a true fighter, beating doctors’ odds to survive and thrive after being born at a tiny 24 weeks.

“My name is Indiana and I was a twin. I was born at 24 weeks gestation, 16 weeks early. I'm what you call a micro premmie baby (born before 26 weeks gestation). The day I was born I was a mere 400 grams, not even a pound, and only 25cm long from head to toe.

My mum had blood pressure issues and reverse cord flow so I stopped growing. This is commonly known as Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). My mother was not on illegal drugs not dieting and not drinking, which are many of the common causes of IUGR. She spent first half of pregnancy in and out of hospital and the second until I was born in long stay.

My sister died two days before we were both born. She weighed 390 grams and she was 25 cm long just like me.  I was born not breathing due to the caesarean causing distress. I was revived twice and immediately admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where I was placed in an Incubator. Doctors said I wouldn't survive the first half hour, but I did; then the night, and again I did, beating the doctors’ odds. That's where my journey begins, where I took the race and won with my mummy head cheerleader and family and friends backing us up. The doctors and nurses ran the race with me, helping me up when I stumbled and carrying me until I could take over.

I was immediately put on a ventilator to do the breathing for me. I was on the ventilator for nine days, then on a BiPAP machine which helped keep my lungs open so I could breathe better for about 3 ½ weeks. From there I was put on High Flow for five weeks. I was doing so well with High Flow, that doctors trialled me on Low flow. I wasn’t ready and scared mummy as I turned blue, and had to be bagged with ventilation. I was put back on High Flow again until I could survive on Low Flow, on which I stayed until a week before I came home.

I suffer from chronic lung disease from being so premature and having under-developed lungs. I had three bleeds on my brain that doctors said would kill me. Those bleeds no longer exist! I had three holes in my heart! No surgery was needed for two of them, known as patent ductus arteriosus (PDAs), which healed themselves. The third hole is still there and there is talk of surgery.  We just have to wait until I grow a bit bigger and a bit stronger. I also got an eye condition called Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) which extended my stay in the NICU while we waited to see if my eyes would get better. They did.  I had some minor problems like jaundice and anaemia and many more, but they were fixed with lights and medication.

In total, I had about 17 things going against me while I was in the NICU; many big, some small. But I overcome them. I finally came home at 42 weeks and 6 days - a 128 day stay in NICU. My mummy was so proud to get me home. I was off all breathing machines and feeding tubes. I still take each day at a time have multiple doctors looking after me.”


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Tags to add:

Reverse cord flow

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)

chronic lung disease

patent ductus arteriosus (PDAs)

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)



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