A couple took a photo of their smiling preemie daughter and it is giving hope to parents of premature babies all over the world!
A premature birth can be a terrifying situation for any parent. The parents may feel anxious and helpless watching their newborns fighting to stay alive while there isn’t much they can do to help.
Lauren Vinje and her husband, David, faced a similar situation when Lauren was forced to give birth at 34 weeks due to pregnancy complications. The then new parents were unsure if their baby girl, Freya would survive.
But just 5 days after she was born prematurely, baby Freya, gave her parents something miraculous to keep their spirits high! The tiny tot smiled. A very wide, beaming and life-affirming smile that is now giving hope to parents of preemie babies across the world.
Freya was born at 34 weeks on November 27, 2014 in Minnesota, she is now 4 years old and is a big sister to two younger siblings.
“I knew something was wrong when I got so swollen I couldn’t fit my hands together around my ankles. Then I started seeing flashing lights.” Lauren told PEOPLE in 2016.
Lauren suffered from preeclampsia, a complication during pregnancy that results in high blood pressure and potential organ damage.
The preeclampsia signs started appearing at around the 28 week mark. A month and a half later she was admitted to the hospital and Freya was delivered via emergency c-section.
Freya weighed 4 lbs. 4 oz at birth and needed to stay in the NICU for a month before her family could take her home. “When I held her, it was the most incredible thing,” David told PEOPLE. “Getting to hold a tiny little baby that has gone through so much is crazy and overwhelming and amazing.”
After the couple took the photo of their smiling preemie, it brought them a lot of joy and helped them get through those harrowing, heartbreaking weeks she was in the NICU.
Two years after Freya was born Lauren decided to share it with the world hoping that other preemie parents could find hope in Freya’s beaming smile.
“Our first daughter at five days old. 3 lbs. 14 oz., she was happy to be alive! This picture was one I looked at often to get me through the ups and downs of our NICU days. Life is so precious.” Lauren wrote in the post.
The photo went quickly went viral and had preemie parents sharing their experiences and how much the gorgeous photo had encouraged them.
“I wanted to get the picture out there because it has brought us so much joy. It puts a smile on our faces and we thought it could do that for others as well. She’s a constant reminder to keep things in perspective and stay positive.” Lauren said.
“My biggest advice to parents with preemie babies is to never give up. Stay positive and stay strong. Try to be there as much as possible and hold them as much as you can and take in those moments, because they are so precious.” She added.