Just Look At This Cutie! Preemie Smiles Ear-To-Ear Just After Birth
A premature infant named Freya was born to David and Lauren Vinje on Thanksgiving Day back in 2014. Now she’s spreading hope to parents of premature babies with a beautiful and heartwarming picture that was taken when she was only 5 days old.
Freya’s mother, Lauren Vinje of Minnesota, just had to share this picture of her smiling baby on a popular childbirth blog. Within just a few days, the picture had received thousands of shares online.
Lauren told ABC News, “It made me feel really good. Under the comments, I read through a lot of the stories and it’s for moms to know, especially moms who are going through it now … they don’t have to go through it alone.”
Lauren’s pregnancy wasn’t a walk in the park. Throughout its course, she hit many bumps in the road. Around the 28 week mark, Lauren began to show signs of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that is characterized by high blood pressure.
Lauren recalled knowing what the baby was in her head, but her doctor wasn’t willing to confirm 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,” Lauren explained.
During a doctor’s visit on November 25, 2014, Lauren’s doctor informed her soon-to-be-daughter’s heart rate was dropping and that she’d have to prepare to go into labor.
Just two days later, Freya Vinje was delivered via an emergency C-section. She weighed just 4 pounds, 4 ounces. Freya was kept in the NICU for roughly a month, until December 21.
“I didn’t get to hold her until she was about 5 hours old,” Lauren 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 worried about lung development.”
Five days after Freya was born, Lauren snapped the first photo of her daughter as she had the biggest smile you’ve ever seen on an infant.
Whoever said that babies can’t understand us hasn’t met a baby like Freya. “I was talking to her and I had said, ‘Should we send a picture to Daddy?’ and right when I was about to take the picture, she had this huge smile. 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. 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.”
That’s when Lauren knew she just had to share the picture of Freya with the childbirth blog “Birth Without Fear”. She shared it in hopes that it would comfort other parents dealing with premature infants.
The blog shared Lauren’s birth story on October 8 and since, Freya’s smile has received thousands of shares on social media. The photo has also inspired parents to share their personal stories about having premature babies.
“I showed my husband David, I said, “Look, there’s 2,000 likes!” Lauren said. “And now, I’ve been seeing it on all of these different sites. I had a feeling it would put some smiles on a few people’s faces.”
Lauren gave a little piece of hope for the parents of preemies: “Hopefully everything is going to be alright, every case is different. Especially when you are in the NICU, it feels like you’re never going to get out of there. It was really hard for me. I didn’t feel like I could enjoy this new baby of mine.”
David Vinje, Freya’s father, agreed with his wife. “Like Lauren had said, when you’re going through it, you don’t know what to expect when it’s your first time having kids,” he told ABC News. “I think it’s for people going through this to have that idea of, “Oh, there’s other people going through this too.'”
Where is Freya today? She is a healthy and thriving baby that will celebrate her second birthday this month.
“Honestly, she is the best thing that has happened to us,” Lauren 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.”