The tiniest baby ever born at McMaster Children’s Hospital is finally home.
Our Lisa Hepfner met baby Rachel, and her identical but somewhat bigger twin sister Evelyn, shortly before their parents brought them home to join the rest of the family in Niagara Falls.
They left the hospital about 5pm Wednesday. Finally headed home to unite the family and find some semblance of routine but I found them amazingly relaxed considering what they’ve been through in the past few months.
Rachel Blythin tips the scale at 6 pounds, 12 ounces, but she’s put most of that weight on in the past four months. When she was born in June, she wore doll clothes, could sit on her giraffe clutch toy like she was riding a horse, and her father’s wedding band fit loosely around her knee.
Neil Blythin is Rachel’s Dad: “The first time I held her was a little nerve racking. We were told, 500 grams is what they consider the cutoff rate for survivability. Below 500 grams, chances of survival are quite low. That night, when they came in and told us the number, 330, that was quite shocking.”
That’s 330 grams, making Rachel the smallest baby born at McMaster Children’s Hospital.
Mom, Ginger Blythin: “I mean, that’s smaller than a block of butter. Maybe about the size of a can of soda.”
In April, the Blythin’s went for an ultrasound that turned into an hours-long ordeal. They were told the fetuses had twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Rachel was passing most of her nutrients to Evelyn which could be lethal to both babies.
Neil: “The babies have an unequal share of the placenta, so one of them gets less nutrients so they’re smaller, and the other gets too much so their organs become overburdened. In order to save one or both, there was a surgery where they could go sever shared blood connections.”