For the majority of expecting mothers, pregnancy lasts approximately 40 weeks. However, pregnancies can be unexpectedly cut short. Preterm births, also known as premature births, occur when an infant is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy (8.5 months). It can be an absolutely frightening situation because complications that arise from preterm births are the leading cause of deaths among children under five years old.
Complications from preterm births can also lead to long-term neurological disabilities. Technology has progressed to help drastically reduce the rate of preterm labor but the reality is that it still remains a very serious challenge for many parents.
When Laurie gave birth to Freya several weeks premature, she was understandably worried. Laurie was absolutely tiny and needed to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. But on her fifth day on this planet, Freya gave her mother the most beautiful smile, as if to let her know that everything was going to be okay.
“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 Vinje