When North Carolina mom Rodericka Moore was just 15 weeks pregnant, she hosted a gender-reveal party. "I paid to have the 4D ultrasound. I had the urge to do it early and I never knew why," she confided to People magazine.
Perhaps she had a premonition that her son Amari would be born early. Very early. Because at 20 weeks pregnant, Moore was diagnosed with preeclampsia, dangerously high blood pressure. Doctors could not wait to deliver him past 24 weeks, when Moore developed HELLP syndrome, which is a complication of preeclampsia characterized by hemolysis (a breaking down of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count.
Incredibly, according to People, Amari was born weighing just 15 ounces—that's less than a pound!—and was given a 10 percent change of survival. "They didn't see him making it through the night," Moore recalls. "But I had faith. Every day was a miracle." She adds, "I looked at him as a mother and I was excited. I still had the new-mom feeling. It's only now that I realize how small and fragile he was at the time."
Amari would spend 120 days in the NICU, and undergo four hernia surgeries and suffer pneumonia. But he fought through it all to make it to 8 months old, and he now weighs in at 11 pounds, 11 ounces.
"He's a healthy and playful baby," Moore told People. "He wants to play with his brother. He's underweight, of course, and isn't doing what babies his age are doing. He's still on milk and can't eat baby food, but he's doing great."
Amari, you are truly an inspiration!
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.