Mom says, “It was everything we hoped and prayed for.”
By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. When we look back each day at what appeared in NRL News Today one year prior, no story is better received than reminders that more and more premature babies are beating the odds.
It wasn’t until June 30, that Jessica Hill was able to hold her son for the first time. She called that moment “unbelievable,” and it took place a little over one month after Finn James Hill was born “via emergency cesarean section, nearly four months before his Sept. 6 due date,” according to People Magazine. Born at 24 weeks, Finn weighed just one pound.
Flash forward to September 10 when doctors at the NICU at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida told Jessica and Christopher Hill they could take their son home. In between (and since), the couple kept a small army of supporters updated on Finn’s progress at the “Fighting Finn” Facebook page.
Jessica and Christopher told Good Morning America that doctors initially told them Finn James had a 50 percent chance of survival. People’s Rachel DeSantis wrote
The newborn spent the first few months of his life on a ventilator and under the watchful eye of doctors, who put him under the knife to repair a hole in his heart and to correct an illness in his intestines.
He was transferred from Lakeland Regional Medical Center to the NICU at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando on June 6, where he remained until doctors finally gave Jessica and Christopher the okay to take him home on Sept. 10, according to GMA.
“It didn’t hit me until we left and it was the three of us for the first time,” Jessica said. “I knew we wouldn’t have to take him back. It was everything we hoped and prayed for.”
But that is just a portion of the family’s story. Struggling with infertility and failed attempts at IVF over the course of nine years, the Hills “eventually opted to adopt eight embryos from a couple Jessica met on Facebook, and after one unsuccessful pregnancy, she became pregnant with twins.”
Christopher told Bay News 9 of the couple, “They have given us the gift of life,” adding, “That’s the biggest thing you can give someone, is the gift of life.” The couples are now close friends.
Tragically, one of the twins died at 10 weeks. It was just 14 weeks later that Finn was born. A blood clot made Jessica’s water break.
“Initially, it was just shock. I started crying and asking my doctor, ‘What are his chances of survival if you take him out now?’ ” she recalled to GMA.
“The doctor said he was safer on the outside than he was inside.”
Finn’s parents now describe him” as a happy baby who always wears a smile,” DeSantis writes. Finn is 4 months old and weighs 5 lbs., 5 oz.
“When his entire hand fits around your fingernail, it makes you realize just how precious life is,” Jessica told local ABC affiliate WFTS.