14.5-ounce baby girl given 20 percent chance of survival defies all odds

This couple never expected to have children of their own. When they learned a baby was on the way, they thought it was a miracle. However, the path to happiness was fraught with complications and struggles. Despite it all, hope was never lost.

Ashley Zachmeyer, 22, from Georgia, was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that can cause abnormal uterine bleeding, miscarriage or premature birth, and infertility. She never expected to have a baby and was genuinely surprised to learn she was seven weeks pregnant.

When Ashley was 18 weeks along, she and her husband, Jeffery, received disturbing news: The baby was three weeks behind in development and there was very little amniotic fluid. This required Ashley to see a high-risk specialist.

The doctor told Ashley that the baby had less than a 20 percent chance of making it. The couple was devastated.

“I wanted to scream and cry,” Ashley wrote to Love What Matters. “I grew angry. That anger soon turned to determination, I wasn’t giving up.”

When another specialist told her she may have a miscarriage, it was heartbreaking news. However, as the weeks passed and with every checkup, Adalee continued to grow, albeit much slower than the average fetal development.

At 26 weeks, Ashley was told there was a problem with the blood flow to the umbilical cord and miscarriage would happen within 24 hours. The news did not stop her will to fight and hope. The next day came and passed, and by 29 weeks, Adalee was 16 ounces (approx. 454 grams)—a weight that delighted her parents.

On June 22, 2017, Ashlee needed a C-section because there was no more amniotic fluid. Adalee was born at 29 weeks and 5 days, weighing 14.5 ounces (approx. 411 grams) and about the size of a soda can.

It would be three weeks before the newborn parents were able to hold Adalee for the first time, a moment the couple cherished dearly.

“We waited for a brain bleed diagnosis or her needing to have surgery on her bowels, but it never came,” Ashley shared. “The doctors told us it was unheard of to see a baby born so small but not have any complications besides needing to grow. Our doctor called her a superstar.”

After 106 days in NICU, Adalee weighed 4 pounds 4 ounces (approx. 2 kilograms) and was ready to go home, where she thrived.

“She has continued to beat every odd placed against her,” Ashley wrote. “All her doctors are very impressed with her progress.”

There is no doubt that little Adalee beat the odds, and no matter what challenges her parents faced, they didn’t give up hope.

“Our 14.5 ounce baby girl, with less than a 20% chance of survival, lived. She made it. She survived,” stated Ashley. “Though she may be little, she is fierce.”

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