Doctors told mum Jo Scott – herself a midwife – that foetal Emie was “incompatible with life” and advised her to terminate the pregnancy “four or five times”.
Despite warnings at her 12 AND 20 week scans, Jo and husband Chris Scott refused to give up and little Emie was born premature at 1lb 11oz – but was perfectly normal.
The couple were told at the first scan there was a high chance Emie would have Down’s Syndrome.
Experts then warned unborn Emie may have the chromosome disorder triploidy at her 20-week scan and had just a 15 per cent chance of survival.
But further scans revealed that both fears were unfounded and Emie’s growth was stunted because Jo’s placenta was not attached properly.
Jo, a midwife, claims a doctor at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital looked her in the eye and told her: “She will not make it.”
He advised her to have an abortion, saying there was “no way” Emie would grow to a viable birth weight.
But Jo could feel her unborn daughter wriggling around in her tummy and she and husband Chris had a gut feeling that it was going to be OK – so they refused.
Tiny Emie was delivered via C-section at just 31 weeks On October 5, 2015, after Jo developed HELLP syndrome, a rare liver and blood clotting disorder.
Emie was put on a ventilator and rushed into intensive care, where she stayed for two-and-a-half months.
But against all odds, and despite weighing less than a bag of sugar at 1lb 11oz, the infant battled on and grew fit and strong.
She was home by Christmas and now, a year on, she has celebrated her first birthday – with a trip to the petting zoo.
Mum Jo, who lives with IT consultant Chris, 31, and four-year-old daughter Ava in Swindon, Wilts., said: “They were telling me she wasn’t going to survive.
“But whatever they told me, I didn’t believe them.
“I felt like my whole world was ending but my gut instinct was telling me she was going to be alright.
“Every time I went to Oxford they said to me, ‘You should have a termination.’ It must have been four or five times.
“They wanted me to have a feticide, which means they inject something into the heart to stop the heart beating.
“I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t let somebody do that.
“They told me there was an 85 per cent chance she would die but I said, ‘I would rather she died on her own than me let somebody physically kill her.”
After Emie was born at Great Western Hospital, at 12.24pm on October 5, she was put on a ventilator which she stayed on for eight hours.
Jo, who lost four litres of blood, was rushed into intensive care where she stayed for 36 hours – but both were OK.
When she was allowed back onto the ward, Jo was allowed to see her baby daughter for the first time.
Jo said: “She looked like a little baby alien – she was so tiny.
“She was really red and my husband, who saw her before me, said that when he saw her at first she looked completely see through.
“She would fit into my husband’s hand.”
The couple were allowed to bring Emie home on December 17.
Doctors believe that though the sprog will be smaller than other children her age for years to come, they expect that she will be fit, healthy and like any other child.Jo said: “If I had had a termination, I wouldn’t have been able to live with the ‘what ifs’. I would be thinking, ‘What if she had survived?’
“Emie is fine. She is here. And this is why I couldn’t terminate. We didn’t know she was going to be here and be fine.”
Jo is angry with the doctors for advising her to have an abortion, but added: “They are the same people who saved my life.
“Although I’m a bit angry with them for everything they put us through, I’m so grateful that they were there to help me when I needed it.”
“To other parents in the same situation, I think you just have to go with your gut instinct,” she continued.
“They were telling me to have a termination. Their argument was that Emie wasn’t going to survive. She proved them wrong.”
A year on, the cheeky bundle of joy has just celebrated her first birthday with friends and family.
On Saturday, Emie donned her prettiest pink dress and had a gathering with the other youngsters who she was in the baby care unit with.
They visited a petting zoo because Emie loves animals.
Jo said: “It was amazing to think that a year ago we didn’t know what we whether we would be celebrating or not.
“But she’s feisty, she’s cheeky, she’s independent and she is amazing.”