Parents of baby born at 23 weeks returning home to Brisbane

By Cindy Tran

Billie Ava Soster in hospital January 2017. Billie was born at 25 weeks after her mother Brodie Soster developed a version of pre-eclampsia while on a visit to Christchurch in October. Photo/
Billie Ava Soster in hospital January 2017. Billie was born at 25 weeks after her mother Brodie Soster developed a version of pre-eclampsia while on a visit to Christchurch in October. Photo/

A mother who gave birth to a baby girl at 23 weeks weighing a tiny 500g has returned to Brisbane.

Nearly 200 days later, the mother and little Billie have finally gone home to Australia, finally leaving the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

Brodie Soster had a healthy pregnancy with no frightening symptoms when she was holidaying in New Zealand in October last year.

But just two days into her trip, the 34-year-old started to endure excruciating abdominal pain she thought was just heartburn, according to Daily Mail.

Tiny Billie is finally well enough to go home to Australia. Photo/Facebook
Tiny Billie is finally well enough to go home to Australia. Photo/Facebook

After seeing a doctor, the New Zealand-born woman was found to have high blood pressure and protein in her urine.

She was later diagnosed with a rare form of pre-eclampsia, which can prove dangerous for mother and baby if not acted on immediately.

"I needed to deliver before it killed us both," she told 9stories.

Brodie spent four days in hospital where she learned her baby daughter had not been growing for at least two weeks.

She was given a dose of steroids in an attempt to give Billie more time on the inside before she had to be delivered by an emergency C-section.

Little Billie Ave Stevens was given just a 30 to 40 per cent chance of survival after being born in a Christchurch hospital on October 5.

"The situation was terrible for me and my family. I was away from my main support network, I had no income with a mortgage to pay and my baby's life was on the line for a long period of time," she said.

Brodie said the next step now is to keep her baby warm over winter and hope for her lungs to recover so she doesn't have to rely on the oxygen and feeding tube.

Dad Scott Stevens, 29, with Billie as she got stronger in a New Zealand hospital. Photo/Facebook
Dad Scott Stevens, 29, with Billie as she got stronger in a New Zealand hospital. Photo/Facebook

"I could not be prouder of Billie. To first defy the odds and surviving after having many close calls to watching her breastfeed when they said she never would. Her eyes, brain and ears are also perfect," Brodie said.

"I feel so lucky to be blessed with such a special, strong little lady."

- Daily Mail

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