Few things are more traumatic than childbirth. While it’s certainly an act of empowerment for women, the issues that can arise can leave many new mums grieving, traumatised, or even suffering from PTSD. For Wong Mei Ling, the birth of her daughter was far from an experience free of complication and stress. Kwek Yu Xuan was just 212g - the weight of an apple - when she was born, and measured just 24cm long. She was delivered at just under 25 weeks.
Before Kwek Yu Xuan, the previous record holder was a girl in the US who weighed 245g at birth in 2018, according to the University of Iowa’s Tiniest Babies Registry. Wong Mei Ling gave birth to her daughter by emergency C-section four months early after she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a condition where dangerously high blood pressure can damage vital organs and be fatal for both mother and baby.
According to Singapore’s National University Hospital where Wong’s daughter was born, Yu Xuan had a “limited chance of survival.” Thankfully, Yu Xuan never gave up and continued to grow and now weighs a much healthier 6.3kg. She was given multiple kinds of treatments and relied on various machines to survive, with doctors continuing to supervise the young baby according to BBC reports.
In a statement, the hospital explained: “Against the odds, with health complications present at birth, she has inspired people around her with her perseverance and growth, which makes her an extraordinary ‘Covid-19’ baby - a ray of hope amid turmoil.”
Now, after 13 months spent in intensive care, doctors say her health and development is well enough to see her discharged and returned home with her loving parents. Yu Xuan still has chronic lung disease and will need help with her breathing at home, but doctors at NUH expect she will get better with time.
Understandably, Yu Xuan’s mother is overjoyed to have her daughter return home, but also expressed the shock that came with the delivery given that her first child - a four-year-old boy - was delivered at term. The fees to pay for the treatment of Yu Xuan were expensive, but thankfully Wong Mei Ling was able to afford it thanks to a crowdfunding campaign that raised close to $270,601 for her daughter.