Born Premature But Now Bigger Than His Peers

A baby born at just twenty three weeks into pregnancy weighing less than two pounds amazed doctors by his survival and now that same child, two years later, is bigger than a lot of children his own age!

Nathan Sciberras from Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire was given a survival rate of just one million to one when he was born just over two years ago in December 2007 in Southampton Hospital.  Nathan’s mother, twenty eight year old Cara was understandably concerned when she went into premature labour and she was taken straight to the Milton Keynes Hospital for treatment but was later transferred to Southampton Hospital to give birth.

Nathan, born seventeen weeks earlier than planned was also in the breach position which could have caused him to have breathing difficulties.  Due to this, the doctors would not agree to a caesarean and Cara was forced to give birth naturally.  She had also been warned that if Nathan was not breathing when he was born that he would not be resuscitated as doctors only do this when the child is born after twenty four weeks.

After a fourteen hour labour, Nathan was born and although he could fit into the palm of his dad’s hand he thankfully began gasping for air straight away.  Little Nathan’s body was missing nipples and he was extremely skinny, fluffy and his skin was almost see through.  In an effort to help his ears develop correctly the nurses got into the habit of ‘moulding’ them into shape.  Nathan was placed in an incubator so that his undeveloped body could become stronger and week by week this tiny little child developed and grew and after around three weeks he opened his eyes.  He remained at Southampton Hospital for a few more weeks before then spending the next three months in Milton Keynes Hospital at their neonatal unit.

Nathan’s dad, thirty eight year old Mike is a car salesman and he and wife Cara gave Nathan his name as it signified a ‘gift from God’.  Nathan went home just days after his official ‘due’ date and Cara states that Nathan was hungry from the very beginning and that he has grown so much that his brother Joshua, who is only four years old, is not even three inches taller than Nathan.  Nathan currently measures just over three foot and is statistically bigger than ninety percent of children his own age.

Premature Babies

If a baby is born under thirty seven weeks they are considered a premature (or preterm) baby.  Depending on how premature a baby is born the greater the risk of complications, not just during the birth but also with regards to the baby’s development and future survival.

As a baby develops inside its mother’s womb, its organs are growing and other parts of the body are maturing and if a baby does not go to ‘full term’ then its development will not be completed and these babies spend the beginning of their lives in incubators which will hopefully enable them to catch up with their development had they stayed in the womb.

There are many risks for a premature baby which can include:

  • Brain damage.
  • Cerebral palsy.
  • Death.
  • Developmental delay.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Heart problems.
  • Learning disabilities.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Vision or hearing difficulties.

This does not mean that every baby born prematurely will suffer with any of the above disabilities and Nathan Sciberras has proved this as he is now just an average and healthy toddler.

What a little fighter this boy was, he was born at a stage that according to the medical profession is not considered ‘viable’ and yet he proved them all wrong!