One of the smallest surviving babies in the world — born 14 weeks early — will soon be heading home from the hospital, her overjoyed parents announced this week.
E’Layah Faith Pegues was born on Sept. 23 and weighed just 10 ounces. On Dec. 29, her original due date, her parents held a news conference at the Carolinas Medical Center’s Levine Children’s Hospital, where the now 3-month-old holds the record for the smallest surviving baby born at the hospital.
“E’Layah is our miracle baby girl,” the preemie’s mother, Megan Smith, told the Charlotte Observer.
Megan Smith holds her “miracle” daughter, E’Layah. (Photo: Charlotte Observer)
Now weighing in at 3 pounds 10.7 ounces, E’Layah is doing so well that Smith and her fiancé, Eric Pegues, expect their very little girl will be able to leave the neonatal intensive care unit, where she has been living, and go home in the next week or two.
E’Layah (Photo: Charlotte Observer)
It’s a truly remarkable New Year’s gift for the Charlotte, N.C., couple, who have been concerned about their daughter’s health since before she was born. Smith suffered two strokes, high blood pressure, and rough morning sickness while pregnant with E’Layah. And when Smith’s obstetrician observed in August that the baby wasn’t growing, the doctor put the mother-to-be on bed rest.
E’Layah and her parents. (Photo: Charlotte Observer)
A month later, after E’Layah had stopped moving, doctors decided it was time for an emergency cesarean section delivery and prepared Smith and Pegues for the worst. “[But] we just weren’t taking it,” Smith told Fox 8. “We said, we have to have faith, and that’s when we made her middle name Faith, because we weren’t going to give up on her.”
That’s why today they are so thrilled to report that thanks to a combination of formula and breast milk, and NICU doctors’ care, E’Layah is not just surviving but thriving. And instead of hoping for her to pull through, Smith said, “We pray for her strength.”
Top photo: MyFox8