NRL News

Baby “aborted” at 26 weeks to save mother’s life survives delivery, now healthy 10-year-old

by | Dec 31, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Natasha Smith’s birth was induced 14 weeks early when her mother developed a life-threatening condition.

Natasha Smith’s birth was induced 14 weeks early when her mother developed a life-threatening condition.

Editor’s note. This story, which ran in September, was the eighth most read post of 2014.

Ten years ago Norelle Smith and fiancé Sandy Cameron were told that Norelle, then 26 weeks pregnant, had toxic pre-eclampsia. “The condition was starving the struggling [baby] in the womb and attacking her mum’s internal organs,” according to the Sunday Post. Their baby, they were told, had stopped developing at 22 weeks and had no chance to survive. They reluctantly agreed to deliver the baby 14 weeks early.

But not only did Natasha (who was born just six inches long and weighed only 1lb 4oz) astonish the medical team by surviving delivery, she overcame all the initial predictions that she would be severely brain damaged and would live a few days, at most.

Now she is the apple of her parents’ eye, and has celebrated her 10th birthday—“with a limo party and meal in town with her friends,” according to the Sunday Post!

The newspaper reported that in 2004 doctors insisted the step was vital to save Norelle’s life. Drugs were used to induce the baby’s delivery.

“But, after being induced 14 weeks early, Natasha was born in an intact membrane at the former Queen Mother’s Hospital in Glasgow.” The story continues

When Norelle felt the membrane move she alerted the midwife who whisked it off to intensive care.

Norelle’s instinct and the midwife’s quick actions, bought Natasha the slightest chance of survival, which she grasped with both tiny hands.

Battling Natasha was on a ventilator for just one day before growing strong enough to support herself and in late August – just four months later – she had developed so much, she was allowed home.

In the decade since brave Natasha won her unlikely fight for life, she has continued to defy medics’ predictions, including fears she would be small and would suffer developmental problems.

Instead, the Park Primary School pupil is a healthy 4ft 8in tall and thriving in the top reading group in her class.

A few months after Natasha was born, The Scotsman did a story on her remarkable life. Ms. Smith said

“Seeing how Natasha came out – she is amazing – it is shocking people can terminate babies that late. Twelve weeks would be better than 24, but I still don’t agree with it.

“They say a foetus from seven weeks has got a heartbeat. It’s still a baby regardless of what size it is.

“Natasha was small but she was a formed baby. She stopped growing at 22 weeks and she was perfect. She had eyelashes, nails, hair on her head; she opened her eyes and she could cry.”

Categories: Premature babies