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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Baby born three months early doing well at home

A TINY tot born three months early is fighting fit and back home with her family – long before her due date.

Mercedes Elise Pickering, who was 13 weeks old on Tuesday, arrived just 25 weeks into mum Chrissy’s pregnancy.

Due to arrive on March 29, she was born by emergency Cesarean section at the Royal Preston Hospital’s specialist premature baby unit at 2.57pm on December 20. At 32cm long, she weighed just 1lb 11oz.

Despite being classed as an “extreme pre-term”, Mercedes spent just five days on ventilation and 29 days in intensive care, before spending another 40 days in different units at Preston. After four weeks in Furness General Hospital’s special care baby unit, she was finally ready to go home on March 14.

Mrs Pickering, 25, of Longway, Barrow said: “She progressed really well, even the doctors were shocked. All of a sudden she came out of the incubator, then a couple of days later she managed to have her feeding tube out because she was doing really well with bottles. It sounds awful, but she really shouldn’t be doing as well as she is. She’s been exceptional, absolutely fantastic, and she’s shocked us all.”

Mercedes is now enjoying quality time with her family, including dad Vince, 34, and her sisters Shelby, seven, and Lexi, five.

Having turned 13 weeks on Tuesday, she now weighs 5lbs 1.5oz – less than many newborns but a huge increase for her.

Mrs Pickering said it was a “huge relief” to have her home.

She said: “It’s been absolutely amazing, I can’t really put it into words. It’s the simple things that you take for granted – just to be able to pick her up and give her a cuddle whenever you want, hearing her crying in the night.

“Most mums moan about things like that, but it’s been so long.”

Mercedes has regular check-ups with doctors and health visitors to make sure she is not showing any signs of long-term problems.

If things go well, she will hopefully be discharged aged two.

Mrs Pickering paid tribute to the FGH medical team who identified her pregnancy as high-risk, monitored her carefully and helped care for Mercedes after the birth. She said: “I can’t praise the staff enough, they’ve been absolutely fantastic with us from beginning to end.”


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