Preemie Inspires Parents With Dazzling Smile 5 Days After Birth
Lifestyle| | By Matthew D'Onofrio
“Should we send a picture to Daddy?”
After asking that question to her 5-day-old premature daughter, Lauren Vinje witnessed her newborn grinning ear to ear and snapped a beautiful photo that captured the attention of thousands and inspired other parents of premature infants.
Freya was born on Thanksgiving in 2014, November 27, at four pounds and four ounces. She remained in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for almost a month until she was released on December 21.
Five days after her birth, Vinje snapped the photo which would later on go viral.
“When we went to have our second little girl, they still had it (the photo) hanging up in their break room,” said Vinje, a Minnesota resident.
What sparked its fame on the internet was when the mom shared her birth story with blog Birth Without Fear, which in turn published her story on October 18. Although the story as a whole is a heartwarming one, the picture was the true gem.
“Look, there’s 2,000 likes!” she told her husband, David. “I had a feeling it would put some smiles on a few people’s faces.”
“I think [it’s] for people going through this to have that idea of, ‘Oh, there’s other people going through this too,'” said David, father to Freya.
And after going viral, Vinje had some words of wisdom for other parents of premature babies.
“Hopefully everything is going to be alright, every case is different,” Vinje advised. “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.”
Parents of premature infants would be pleased to know that Freya is celebrating her second birthday in just a month and is as happy as she was in that photo.
“Honestly, she is the best thing that has happened to us,” the mother of two said. “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.”