There was not a dry eye in sight when Lauren and David Vinje gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Thanksgiving Day in 2014.
Lauren’s pregnancy was not easy, to say the least, and at 28 weeks pregnant she was already showing signs of preeclampsia, which is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure. “In my head, I knew what it was but my doctor was not confirming it. [With] preeclampsia, your body sees the placenta as being a foreign object and it’s almost like your body becomes allergic to it — [that’s] what they told me. If you’re not monitored closely, you’ll lose the baby,” Vinje told ABC News.
In November 2014, a doctor visit confirmed that the baby’s heart rate was dropping and she’d have to prepare to have her baby. Two days later, Vinje gave birth to a tiny baby girl, who she named Freya via emergency c-section.
Freya weighed only 4lbs, 4oz. “I didn’t get to hold her until she was about 5 hours old,” Vinje said. “David, my husband, got to hold her pretty much right away. They made sure she was able to breathe on her own because with preemies, [doctors] are always worries about lung development.”
Five days after Freya was born, Vinje snapped an incredible photo of her daughter smiling from ear to ear. “It was a picture that I had always wanted to get out for people to see because of how it touched me [in] the way that it did,” she said.
“We gave a copy to the nurses, and when we went to have our second little girl, they still had it hanging up in their break room.” Vinje even shared Freya’s photo with the blog, “Born Without Fear,” and since it was shared there, it’s received thousands of shares on social media. It’s also inspired other parents to share their own stories about having a premature baby.
“Honestly, she is the best thing that has happened to us,” Vinje said. “We go to the store and she’s the friendliest little girl and she says hi to everybody. She’s so fun. She’s so happy. That picture at 5 days old, you can see her little personality and you look at her now, and she hasn’t changed. She’s still the happy little girl in that photo.”
Please SHARE Freya’s story in honor of all the preemies out there, and let them know that everything will be ok!
[Featured Image Credit: Lauren and David Vinje via ABC News]