September 30, 2010

Big dreams for tiny babies

Wearing clothing made to fit a 6- to 9-month-old baby, Becca Hill’s tiny size is deceptive of her real age.

The bubbly 2-year-old smiles and laughs as she poses for a photograph. Becca was born nearly three months early with the astoundingly low birth weight of 13 ounces (slightly heavier than a can of soda) and measuring just 9 ½ inches – so small she easily fit into her father’s hand. At the time of her birth on June 21, 2008, Becca was documented to be the smallest surviving baby ever to be born in Tennessee and one of the smallest in the world.

Nancy Hill was just 15 weeks pregnant and living in Louisville, Ky., when she first learned that something might be wrong with her baby.

She was startled to learn her baby was at increased risk of developing spina bifida. Then two weeks later, Nancy found out that her baby’s measurements were very small.

“They told us to be prepared to lose the baby,” Nancy recalls.