A Florida couple is marking the happy homecoming of their infant son, who spent nearly four months in the hospital after he was born weighing just 1 lb.
Jessica and Christopher Hill’s son Finn James was born at 24 weeks on May 21, with doctors telling the new parents he had a 50 percent chance of survival, they told Good Morning America.
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.”
The birth of their son was a long time coming for the couple, who had struggled with infertility and failed IVF cycles for nine years.
They eventually opted to adopt eight embryos from a couple Jessica met on Facebook, and after one unsuccessful pregnancy, she became pregnant with twins.
“They have given us the gift of life,” Christopher told Bay News 9 of the couple, who they now consider close friends. “That’s the biggest thing you can give someone, is the gift of life.”
One of the twins died at 10 weeks, and just 14 weeks later, Finn was born after 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 was eventually born via emergency cesarean section, nearly four months before his Sept. 6 due date.
Jessica was able to hold her son for the first time on June 30, a moment she called “unbelievable” after having had to watch him from afar for more than a month.
“When his entire hand fits around your fingernail, it makes you realize just how precious life is,” she told local ABC affiliate WFTS.
Finn, whom his parents describe as a happy baby who always wears a smile, is now 4 months old and weighs 5 lbs., 5 oz.
Jessica and Christopher have been tracking their son’s progress on the Facebook page Fighting Finn.
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“We are working hard to make sure his glucose levels don’t drop and he eats enough to gain weight…. It’s a bit of a battle, but we are hopefully getting there. We would hate for this peanut to be re-admitted,” the most recent update reads.
Meanwhile, the couple told Bay News 9 they hope to give Finn a sibling using the remaining embryos from the couple Jessica met on Facebook.