Finding out you’re going to be a parent is probably one of the best feelings in the world.
And that’s exactly how Briony and Mike Curwood felt when they were told they were a going to have a child.
The pregnancy progressed perfectly for a couple of months, but then it suddenly took a turn that made the couple’s life a living nightmare.
About 21 weeks after Briony became pregnant, she went to the hospital for a routine test.
The doctors did ultrasound to determine the sex of the child, and it turned out that there was a little girl in Briony’s belly!
Unfortunately, the happiness that she and her husband, Mike, felt would be replaced by shock and despair — just a few weeks after that hospital visit.
When Briony was 30 weeks pregnant, she noticed something that caused her heart to leap into her throat.
Briony no longer felt anything in her womb. The expectant mother feared something was horribly wrong.
When Briony and Mike went to the hospital, the doctors immediately scanned Briony’s belly to see why the child wasn’t moving.
A heartbreaking diagnosis
The diagnosis was as shocking as it was heartbreaking.
It turned out that the little girl stopped growing 22 weeks into the pregnancy. It was extremely rare, according to doctors.
Their best chance to save the baby was to immediately deliver it so she could grow outside the womb. As you would imagine, this was a lot of information for the shocked parents to take in.
“They told me I’d to prepare to give birth either that day or the next morning. I was excited at first because I thought I was going to see my baby,” Briony told the Hull Daily Mail. ”I didn’t know anything about prematurity as we always had 10-pound babies in my family. But then I realized it was way too early and I got really scared.”
The medical staff performed a caesarean section to ensure that the child would be born alive. Fortunately, there were no complications and little Ava Grace made it into the world.
But because she stopped growing 22 weeks into the pregnancy, Ava Grace was extremely small and only weighed about 1 lb 7 oz. (600 grams).
“She didn’t look like a baby. She looked just like a little doll. Her ears hadn’t come out of her head properly.”
Although the delivery went well, little Ava Grace was far from safe. Nobody knew if she would survive the first few days.
I can’t imagine how stressful it must have been for Mike and Briony.
“I asked if she would survive and they told me to take it hour by hour. Then it was week by week. But she was an absolute trooper and, to look at her now, you would never know all she had been through,” says Briony.
Little Ava Grace never stopped fighting for her life, and although she was born with an underdeveloped brain and an irregular heartbeat, she was able to leave the hospital after a few weeks!
Ava Grace was born 10 weeks early, but now she’s a healthy, active baby.
So nice to see!
Ava Grace has a sparkling personality and always shows her big smile, according to her proud parents. She’s still struggling with a small eye problem, but doctors will be able to help her soon.
Thankfully, this story had a happy ending. Like and share this story on Facebook if you also want to spread some sunshine to your friends!