Babies are born small but have you heard of any baby just the size of a palm weighing 375 grams at the time of birth? For the first time in India a baby of this size and weight has managed to survive after a premature birth at 25 weeks gestation (nearly four months earlier than the expected date ).
Nicknamed Baby Cherry, this petite girl gave anxious moments not only to her parents but also to the doctors.
To know more about Baby Cherry and her amazing story of survival we need to go back to February this year when her mother, 26-year-old Nitika Ajwani, was in her fifth month of pregnancy. This was also the fifth pregnancy for Nitika, who had four abortions earlier. Nitika and her 31-year-old businessman husband Sourabh Ajmani, who belong to Rajnandgaon in Chattisgarh state, were told by the local doctors not to have any hope of their baby's survival as the blood flow from mother to baby was severely compromised and the ultrasound showed that there was very less amniotic fluid around the baby. No one gave any hopes of her survival.
"We were told by a friend to go to Hyderabad and try our luck there,'' tells Sourabh, recalling the pain and agony his family underwent, especially his wife Nitika. Accordingly, the couple came to Hyderabad's Rainbow Children's hospital. Having a history of dealing with premature deliveries with the smallest baby delivery of 449 grams, the doctors in Hyderabad gave him a ray of hope.
On February 27, 2018, the doctors decided to get the baby delivered after carefully examining all the pros and cons. "I was told to keep a positive frame of mind right from the time I came to the hospital, but given my past experiences, I was scared and worried. I told doctors to save my baby at any cost,'' recollects an emotional Nitika.
The doctors at the Rainbow hospital had multiple challenges to face.
They were dealing with very high-risk factors of "immature lungs, risk of bleeding brain, infections, the problem of nutrition given the condition, complex surgical processes,'' explains Dr. Dinesh Kumar Chirla, director, intensive care services, Rainbow Hospitals, adding that entire team was monitoring the baby very minutely round the clock.
Baby Cherry was on the ventilator for 105 days during her 128-day stay at the hospital. It took 38 days for the baby to reach 500 grams. At the time of discharge, Baby Cherry, who's now officially named Ridhima, weighed 1.980 kgs.
Neither Nitika and her husband Sourabh nor their family members are now able to take their eyes off the baby girl.
When asked what would be their wish for Ridhima when she grows up, Sourabh promptly says, "I wish she becomes Neonatalogist because she may perhaps understand how she came into being today,'' while quickly adding that neither he nor his wife would force her to do anything which she wouldn't feel like.
Ridhima will be under close observation for the next two years wherein doctors will continually evaluate her growth in all aspects.
For now, the cute Cherry is spreading happiness around and is absolutely like any other child of her age. On July 27, cherry will complete five months of coming into this world.