Happy News: little guy born at just 21 weeks is going home

You can only digest so much negative, horrible, anger-inducing news before it starts to eat your soul.  I've mentioned a few times that over the past year, I only delve into the news in small bites, and only when I can stomach it.

This morning I was clicking around to news sources looking for happy news.  Things that had absolutely nothing to do with... well, everything else.

And my eyes went to this photo because... baby!  And oh how I love the little ones.  Plus, it's fitting as we (collective 'we' here) are on baby watch today for someone we know.  The little one wasn't due until July but Mama had high blood pressure and preecclampsia so they are inducing and delivering early.  She's in labor now (as of this posting) so yeah... babies on the brain!

This is the little guy caught my attention... born at just 21 weeks.  Most hospitals and doctors won't (wouldn't) attempt to save a little one if the Mama is less than 24 weeks along.  Luckily this little mans mom said;  Don't you tell me 'no'... you TRY.

And they did.

Source:  https://disrn.com/

Youngest surviving preemie ever, born at 21 weeks weighing 13 ounces, is going home

When Jemarius' parents, Jessica McPherson and Jemarius Harbor, Sr., came to the hospital in premature labor last December, they remember telling hospital officials that despite the odds, they wanted them to "try."
"I just want you to try. As long as you try, that's all that matters to me. Don't just up and say that you can't do it. Just ‘cause you haven't done it doesn't mean it can't be done."
Now, hospital officials have done what "can't be done," as Jemarius has graduated from the NICU, into the world.

Jemarius' survival eclipses the previous record for the youngest surviving "preemie" by four days. Lyla Stensrud was born six years ago at just 21 weeks and four days. Examples like Jemarius and Lyla reaffirm the conclusions drawn by a 2016 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics that found when provided active rather than palliative care, over 70% of babies can survive a premature birth.


When I read this, I was remembering a news story from what I believe (?) was the mid 90's.  A little baby girl born early that weighed 12 oz. (I recall her being compared to the size of a can of Coke).  I don't recall if her mama died in child birth or what the story was, but I seem to remember Daddy was the single parent, a truck driver and the size of a small mountain.  To see this itty bitty baby laying in his hand... wow.

Which is probably why I remember this story 20+ years later, right?

Anyway!  So I did a quick internet search and found a great (because it's quick and easy to read but full of information) story about some of the worlds smallest preemies!

Source:  https://www.verywellfamily.com/worlds-smallest-preemies-2748663

Rumasia Rahman

Born September 4, 2004, Rumasia Rahman and her fraternal twin sister Hiba were born at 25.6 weeks gestation, just over 15 weeks before their due date. At birth, Rumasia weighed just 260 grams, or 8.6 ounces3 — about the size of a small cell phone. She was 9.8 inches long. Rumasia's twin sister Hiba was more than twice her size, at 1 pound 4 ounces and 12 inches long.

Rumasia and her twin were delivered early because their mom suffered from severe preeclampsia,4 which can cause babies to be smaller than average for their gestational age. Although she was very tiny at birth, Rumasia grew to be a normal school age child. She had laser eye surgery for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and wears glasses, is smaller than other kids her age, and has mild motor delays, but shows no other long-term effects from her premature birth.

Melinda Star Guido

At the time of her birth in August 2011, Melinda Star Guido became the second smallest baby in the U.S. and the world's third smallest baby to survive long enough to leave the hospital. Melinda was born at 24 weeks because her mom had dangerously high blood pressure. She weighed just 9.5 ounces at birth.5

She used supplemental oxygen at home to treat bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and had to have surgery to repair a patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) and laser eye surgery for ROP. Her brain is free from any bleeding from intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), an excellent sign for her future. She went home after 16 weeks in the hospital, weighing 4.5 pounds.6

"Tom Thumb"

Perhaps the world's smallest surviving baby boy is a German baby nicknamed "Tom Thumb" because his parents prefer to keep his identity secret. "Tom" was delivered in June 2009 at 25 weeks gestation. He weighed 275 grams, just over 9.7 ounces.7

Madeline Mann

Born in 1989, Madeline Mann was the world's sixth smallest surviving preemie, born at 26.6 weeks gestation. Although she weighed just 280 grams at birth (9.9 ounces), Madeline is a healthy young woman who attended college.8 Although Madeline is only 4 feet 7 inches tall, wears glasses, and has asthma, she has no other long-term effects of her premature birth.

Kenna Moore

Kenna was smaller than a soda can when she was born on Jan. 9, 2012, at 9.6 ounces9 . She was born at 24 weeks in Charlotte, North Carolina after her mother suffered from high blood pressure. She came off her feeding and oxygen tube at the age of 3 and is a healthy, thriving little girl who wears glasses.10

World's Youngest Preemies

The babies listed above have all had remarkable outcomes, and show no major developmental delays. It is important to note that these babies, although all very small, were all born at 24 weeks gestation or later. At such a young age, every day spent inside mom is very valuable and helped these babies to mature beyond their small size.

Medical science is improving all of the time, but babies born at 24 weeks or earlier are at risk for a number of long-term effects of prematurity.

The outcomes for micropreemies are not always as good as for those born later, even if they are smaller. There are always miracles, though, as proven by the world's youngest surviving preemies. A few 21-week gestation preemies have survived, including these two cases:

James Elgin Gill

James Elgin Gill, a Canadian man born at just 21 weeks 5 days in 1988, set a record when he was born for world's most premature baby.11 James was born so early that he was expected to die at birth or — if he survived — to have multiple and severe handicaps. James beat all of the odds, growing to be a healthy adult.

Amilia Taylor

American baby Amilia Taylor was born at 21 weeks 6 days in October 2006.12 Because Amilia was conceived by in vitro fertilization, her gestational age can be pinpointed exactly, an impossibility for most infants. Although she needed oxygen at hospital discharge, was anemic, and has mild osteopenia, she is otherwise healthy.


On the same page as my 'happy' news of the babies, I did see a list of trending stories.  Sigh.

T H I S.

'Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.' - G Carlin