Dior's Journey | Preemie Born at 23 Weeks
The Tiny Premature Baby's Transformation Photo Seems Truly Miraculous
Most #TransformationTuesday photos involve someone getting super fit, or losing crazy amounts of weight. But one woman's #TransformationTuesday photo this week told a different kind of story.
Mary Parkinson posted an Instagram showing off a miraculous-looking photo of the progress her infant daughter Grace has made since she was born three months ago, when Mary was just 23 weeks pregnant.
In the caption, Mary says that her daughter weighed just one pound at birth. Today, she weighs five pounds, and has filled out quite a bit.
"Happy 3 month birthday to this little one!! I can’t believe how much she has grown in such a short time!" Mary wrote. "We are so lucky to be your parents!!"
Only about half of 1 percent of births happen before the third trimester, which begins at 28 weeks, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Births that occur between 20 and 25 weeks, six days (like Grace's), are considered periviable births—or, births at the limit of viability, when a fetus could theoretically survive on its own outside the womb. The survival rates for these preemies are low, and many will have severe developmental difficulties.
One study, published in 2019 in theNew England Journal of Medicine, looked at periviable births from 2000 to 2011. Within that period, survival rates without neurological impairment improved for 23-week-old preemies, from 7 percent to 13 percent.
Still, survival demands a high degree of intensive medical intervention, as Mary's Instagram feed demonstrates. She started posting pictures of the tiny girl in mid-January:
She documented thefirst time Grace opened her eyes:
The first time shegot to hold Grace:
Her first breastmilk feeding:
And baby's first smile:
Of course, there have been scary moments, too: "The bad days in the NICU come fast and hit us like a ton of bricks," Mary captioned aphotoof Grace post-surgery for a perforated bowel. She has also undergonetreatment for jaundice,blood transfusions, andmany surgeries.
Video: My Beautiful Baby 13 Weeks
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