Prematurity Awareness: The Miracle of Life

November 15, 2022 | by Stephani Monhollon
Prematurity Awareness: The Miracle of Life

The “miracle of life” is an understatement when considering all the premature babies born in the United States annually. About one in 10 newborns arrive before 37 weeks gestation. About 2% are born before 32 weeks gestation, and 1.5% before 28 weeks of pregnancy.

In a perfect world, every unborn baby would remain in the womb until the scheduled due date. However, every pregnancy, birth and outcome is unique, and premature births are unavoidable.

Pediatrix® Medical Group has cared for premature babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) for nearly 45 years. Our greatest joy is helping them grow and thrive and watching them become healthy children and, eventually, healthy adults.

Through the years, we've told stories about some of the premature "miracle" babies entrusted to our care. We enjoy sharing families' successes and celebrating our NICU professionals dedicated to saving as many lives as possible.

In recognition of World Prematurity Day and National Prematurity Awareness Month, we’ve selected some of our favorite NICU stories of the past couple of years for those who may have missed them or simply want to reread them.

When Tragedies and Miracles Collide: A Young Couple’s NICU Journey

Tolulope Omokore and Patrick Allen were expecting twins. Just under 23 weeks of pregnancy, one of the twins passed away in the womb. The news was devastating; however, the couple now had to focus on the baby Tolulope was still carrying. At 23.2 weeks gestation, baby Amandi was born weighing 1 pound, 5 ounces. He spent 155 days in the NICU, with several struggles before becoming healthy enough to join his family at home. Amandi will turn a year in January.

Smaller than a Barbie Doll, Larger than Life

Jari Lopez defied all odds when he was born at 24.1 weeks gestation, weighing only 11.5 ounces and 9 inches long. He spent 127 days in the NICU and went home on a multivitamin and a low dose of oxygen. The healthy baby Jari will turn 2 in February.

Like Mother, Like Daughter: A Christmas Gift that Spans Decades

Lucy Morgan was born 32 years ago, at 28 weeks gestation. She weighed a little more than 2 pounds. Despite her diagnosis of cerebral palsy and other health issues caused by her extremely preterm birth, Lucy had a healthy baby girl who recently turned 1 year old.

A Journey from Patient to Colleague

After delivering her son, Andrew, nine weeks early and experiencing the care provided by a Pediatrix NICU team, Amanda Graf, M.D., left her career in research medicine and became a board-certified, fellowship-trained neonatologist. Working for Pediatrix Medical Group of Ohio enabled her to care for the tiniest, most fragile babies while living near her family. As for Andrew, he is a healthy 11-year-old.

Preemie Quadruplets make Hospital History

Deanna Heath and Rory McGoldrick welcomed quadruplets born 12 weeks early, each weighing between 2 pounds and 2 pounds, 15 ounces. After several months in the NICU, one by one, they were discharged. The quads turned 2 in July.

Second Set of American All-Girl Quintuplets Start Heading Home

Heather and Priscilla Rodriguez welcomed the United States’ second-recorded set of all-girl quintuplets in 2020. The baby girls were born via cesarean section at 28 weeks gestation and spent several months in the NICU before being released one at a time. The girls turned 2 in August.

Atlanta NEO Team’s COVID Planning Help See Mom and Twins Safely Home

When Monique Cook, who was 33.6 weeks pregnant with twins, entered the hospital with signs of COVID-19, primarily respiratory distress, it was quickly determined that a cesarean section was necessary to make room for her lungs to inhale adequate oxygen. Little was known at that time about COVID-19 and how it could impact expectant moms and unborn or newly born babies. Therefore, a multispecialty, coordinated approach was taken to treat Monique, who was struggling to survive, and protect her babies and hospital personnel from the virus.

Visit thePediatrix Blog to read more patient success stories and keep up with the latest medical trends.