A miracle premature baby born the size of an iPhone spent Christmas at home after a “rollercoaster” year where his parents feared he may not survive.
Little Myles weighed just 1lb 8oz when he was born 14 weeks premature on June 19.
24-year-old mom Rebecca Grainger was rushed into hospital for an emergency Caesarian section after being diagnosed with pre-eclampsia at 26 weeks.
Myles was immediately placed on a ventilator as he was unable to breathe for himself and endured a 15-week battle for life.
Rebecca was not able to see or hold her boy but dad Warren McKenna was given a quick cuddle before Myles was taken to neonatal intensive care.
Only parents were allowed in the neonatal intensive care unit due to Covid-19 restrictions, and Warren was the only person allowed to visit Rebecca.
The couple were terrified of catching Covid or having to isolate because missing ten days with their baby would have been their ‘worst nightmare’.
For 15 weeks the couple’s lives revolved around the hospital, leaving early in the morning to be there for Myles and often staying until 2am.
Rebecca, from Yoker, Glasgow, said, “That would have been my worst nightmare, knowing I couldn’t get up there for 10 days.”
Rebecca said her pregnancy had gone smoothly until 26 weeks in she realized she hadn’t felt much movement from her baby and decided to speak with her midwife.
She was constantly monitored but the baby’s heart rate suddenly dropped, and doctors had to act.
Rebecca said, “I thought, ‘I’m just being a drama queen but I’ll just phone and see.’
“We went up to the hospital and I thought it was going to be 10 minutes in and out.
“But they took me into a wee room and basically said I wouldn’t be leaving pregnant again.
“At this point, I was just traumatized because my pregnancy was going so smoothly and I didn’t feel ill in myself so it was hard to take in.”
Myles was on a ventilator for the first three weeks of his life, and he managed to fight off a blood infection—but his lungs were not getting any better.
A secure video messaging app called vCreate, funded by Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, allowed Myles’ parents to receive updates from their baby’s doctors constantly.
Rebecca said, “Our daily routine involved getting up first thing and checking the vCreate where nurses would have sent a picture or video during the night.
“They were so personal and it really helped us.
“The consultant sat us down and said Myles had been on the ventilator for too long so they would give him steroids to wean him off – but there were side effects from both.
“I remember asking what the side effects would be.
“The consultant basically said, ‘If he stays on the ventilator he could die, but if he is given steroids he could die’, and I remember just thinking, ‘Why is this happening to us?
“We were always told it was going to be like a rollercoaster and at this point I thought, ‘The rollercoaster has crashed.’
“He was like the size of an iPhone, he could really sit on my hand.
“The consultants explained that anything could happen with him, it could go 50/50.
“It was really tough to hear on my own, especially with the fear of the unknown.
“By the time we got to take him home he was 5lb 5oz.
“He’s still tiny but we thought he was absolutely humongous, a baby giant.”
It was a week after Myles’s birth before mum Rebecca was able to hold him, but she said the tot is settling in well at home now—despite having chronic lung disease.
Rebecca said, “The first time I held him was amazing because I got to see his wee face.
“Skin to skin contact came later and was just a whole different feeling.
“That’s when I really felt ‘I’m his mom’.
“When he finally was allowed to meet his extended family there were tears galore. We’ve been blessed with a miracle.”