When she was born, she weighed about five times lighter than what a healthy baby should weigh. She was premature by at least 12 weeks. Doctors gave her a 5% chance of survival. For Thulasidas and Bindu, who finally had a baby after 12 years, Meenakshi’s birth was an occasion of despair, and not joy.
Four months down the line, Meenakshi’s miracle survival and recovery to good health now brings a smile to her parents’ faces. She is one of the rarest cases of a baby born so prematurely being brought to normal health, size and weight levels.
When Meenakshi was born in just 25 weeks of pregnancy, she weighed a meagre 625 grams. The average weight of most newborns ranges between two and three kilograms.
Thulasidas and Bindu, residents of Nattika in Thrissur district had tried multiple different fertility treatments before finally coming to the Sabine Hospital and Research Centre after having heard about other successful cases there.
Bindu conceived after two months of IVF treatment, but it was then that the complications began and Bindu was confined to her bed.
Although she was under constant medical care, she delivered the baby in just 25 weeks, after suffering a drastic loss of amniotic fluid.
“We lost all hope. We thought that our wait of 12 years was in vain. Bindu’s mental state cannot be explained, she was lost completely,” Thulasidas said.
“But we insisted that the doctors fight till the end; I was ready to spend everything I had to save my girl.”
What followed were many intensive and challenging months for the team treating Meenakshi. Says Dr Sabine, “She was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for more than 100 days.” Meenakshi now weighs 1700 grams, and is ready to leave the hospital soon, he says.
According to Dr. Sabine, Meenakshi might well be the second most premature baby successfully treated and brought to normal height, weight and health levels. The only other such case he knows of is of a baby weighing just 600 grams born in Fortis Hospital in Delhi to Seema and Sumith Malik.
“All the efforts of the doctors and our prayers were fruitful. I will be thankful to Dr Jegantha Jayaraj all throughout my life,” says Thulsidas, as he and Bindu prepare to take Meenakshi home soon.