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Mother's warning as 1lb Ophelia arrives 14 weeks early because of pre-eclampsia

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: October 22, 2010

  • Jenna Robinson with little Ophelia, who was born 14 weeks prematurely.

  • Jenna Robinson with partner Lee Wilkes.

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BABY Ophelia Wilkes was delivered 14 weeks early weighing just 1lb 4ozs as the only option to save the lives of both mum and daughter.

Ophelia's due date was December 13, but she was delivered by emergency caesarian section on September 10 after mum Jenna Robinson, 25, suffered a severe form of pre-eclampsia.

Ophelia has undergone five blood transfusions and has to rely on oxygen until her tiny lungs are strong enough.

But despite her early arrival into the world, she is now making good progress.

Six weeks old today, she weighs just 1lb 13ozs and will be discharged from Lincoln County Hospital's special care baby unit in the new year, when she is expected to weigh just 4lbs.

The national average birth weight for a new-born baby is 7lbs 5ozs.

Miss Robinson, who lives at Amble Close in Lincoln's Ermine estate with partner Lee Wilkes, said as a first-time mum, she put symptoms of swelling ankles, face and hands as well as headaches and disturbed vision down to just being pregnant.

But following a routine appointment with her community midwife at 25 weeks, Miss Robinson was sent to Lincoln County Hospital, where pre-eclampsia was diagnosed.

Miss Robinson said: "They did not know how severe it was going to get so quickly. Heart monitors were put on the baby and that's when they measured the bump and found out she was measuring small.

"A scan showed the placenta was not delivering enough blood to her. I did think then I was going to lose her."

Miss Robinson, a beauty therapist, was given steroid injections to help the baby's growth and was kept in hospital.

But on September 5, her condition deteriorated and she was transferred to Sheffield's Jessop Hospital, which specialises in the care of very premature babies. She was delivered on September 10.

Miss Robinson said: "She was so small, I thought she wouldn't survive. But even though she was so small, she was so perfect.

"The first time she opened her eyes, I laughed. I think she must have recognised me."

Midwife Frances Franklin said pregnant women should seek help as soon as they experience warning signs of pre-eclampsia

She said: "It is always safer to check. Midwives are always happy to see them."

Read more from Lincolnshire Echo

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  • Profile image for This is Lincolnshire
    Nick, Lincoln  |  October 22 2010, 6:35PM

    All the best !!

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    halibut, Lincoln  |  October 22 2010, 8:25AM

    As a dad of twins who were born 15 weeks early, I wish you all the best. We found the staff at both Lincoln and Nottingham hospitals excellent, and I hope you get all the support you need, There's still a long way to go and I pray that there are no further complications

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