Miracle Baby's Life-Affirming Smile Sends Hope To Anxious First Time Parents
When you're an expectant parent, there is nothing more anxiety-inducing than the idea that your child could be born unhealthy. You're helpless in the matter - there's very little you can do if your baby happens to be born with a weakened immune system or a rare, incurable condition.
That's why many anxious expectant first-time parents find hope in stories of newborns who have managed to overcome a great deal in order to survive into infancy. One such story has become viral due to the very powerful image at the centre of it.
The photo shows a newborn smiling a million dollar smile with a life-affirming glint in her eyes. Born several weeks premature, baby Freya is being hailed as a miracle baby.
The child's parents Lauren and David Vinje have spoken of their delight at being able to witness the moment their tiny newborn reassured them that she was happy to be alive when she beamed up at the camera at just five days old.
Lauren recounted her pregnancy and the eventual birth of her daughter - a birth which, unfortunately, was fraught with difficulty - on her blog, Birth Without Fear.
She wrote about the fear she felt when she learned that she had developed preeclampsia at 28 weeks.
"Everything was going great up until that point," she wrote, and later revealed in an interview with People: "I knew something was wrong," she said, "when I got so swollen I couldn’t fit my hands together around my ankles. Then I started seeing flashing lights."
Lauren's pregnancy lasted another six weeks which is when the mom-to-be's labour was induced. Unfortunately, her worries didn't end there - she was told that her baby had turned sideways and would have to be delivered by emergency cesarean section.
But with the support of the hospital staff and loved ones, Lauren gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl.
"She was perfect, ours, and worth every single thing we went through to bring her into this world."
Five days later, Freya's doting parents took the now-viral snap that is providing hope to expectant parents all over the world.
Lauren then shared the photo with Love What Matters with the caption:
"Our first daughter at five days old. 3 lbs. 14 oz., she was happy to be alive! This picture was one I looked at often to get me through the ups and downs of our NICU days. Life is so precious."
"We are all born into this world in our own unique way and it has been so cool to see the responses the photo has generated," Freya's dad told Today. "This picture has offered relief and joy to us as a family and it’s been a blessing to see it influence others in an unpredictable way."
Today, little Freya is just a few months shy of her third birthday - and hopefully still beaming from ear to ear.