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profile picture of Kylie McConville
Kylie McConville

Baby Born At 23 Weeks Beats The Odds — Heartwarming Story!

PUBLISHED ON 08/29/2013

On the train into work, Princeton, N.J. mom-to-be Marie Massey didn't feel right. Instead of asking the conductor to stop the train, Massey told herself that she could wait the 30 extra minutes until the train stopped and she could off. When she'd safely made it into the office, Massey says her coworker told her, 'I think you're in labor.'

The mama-to-be was only 23 weeks into her pregnancy. The previous day she'd stayed home from work, too, because she wasn't feeling well. After heeding her coworker's warning, she called her doctor and took off for NYU Langone Medical Center. A short while later, she told Good Morning America, she was lying in a bed and undergoing an ultrasound. After telling her nurse that she was feeling a little "pressure", doctors confirmed what hey coworker had suspected: only 23 weeks along — and Marie was in labor Doctors even tried to give her pills to stop her early labor, but they didn't work. She told GMA that she even wondered, in desperation, whether keeping her legs closed would do her any good, admitting, "You just think stupid things."

Marie's baby girl was born at 4:43 p.m. on March 7, weighing only 15 ounces. "They didn't think she was going to be alive, but I knew she was. Because I just knew it," she told ABCNews.com. The team of doctors let Marie kiss the baby before whisking her off. Doctors warned the new mom then and there that babies born at 23 weeks rarely survive, and for those that do, they run the risk of cerebral palsy, brain bleeds and other crippling complications. "The list went on and on," Massey said of the odds her premature daughter was stacked up against. But still — her faith in her little girl never wavered.

"I'm laying there," she told ABC, "and I kept saying to them, 'She's gonna be fine. Don't worry.' They said, 'But you don't understand Ms. Massey. There's no chance here.'" It was in those first few terrifying moments that Massey recalled a dream that she'd had the night before, one where God told her that if she had faith, He was going to take care of her daughter.

And just like that... the 15-ounce baby girl who's doctors had very little hope in her survival had a name: Faith.

One of baby Faith's doctors, Dr. Michael Espiritu, a neonatologist, said that Faith was the smallest baby he'd never encountered and that she had a lot working against her. An infection in Marie's placenta had caused the early labor and although the doctors had tried to manually stop delivery with medication, doctors determined that the little girl had to be born immediately due to the gravity of the situation. "Right as we started talking to her, it all started happening very fast," he said. Summarizing the odds against her, Espiritu told ABC  what he had told Faith's mom: She had only a 20 percent chance of survival — and a 5 percent chance of surviving without brain damage.

A few days after her emergency delivery, Marie was allowed to return home. She spent the remainder of her maternity leave visiting the hospital where Faith was, checking in on her daughter regularly. When she had to return back to work, her boss allowed her two-hour lunch breaks so that she could visit the neonatal intensive care unit. In July, it was finally Faith's turn to go home with her mommy. The day that they headed out, Dr. Espiritu said, "It was such a happy day for me, for everyone who cared for her. Seeing her from when she was so tiny and seeing her look like she was a regular baby, as if nothing had happened to her." He called baby Faith a "miracle." She left the hospital without oxygen and avoided major surgery.

As for her weight? Baby girl is nearly 10 pounds.

"She smiles like crazy," Marie said. "She's just a happy baby. As soon as you talk to her, she smiles." And her mama isn't the only one smitten by the little girl. "She beat remarkable odds, I think, to go home the way she did," Espiritu said. "It surprised everyone that took care of her how strong she was."

How amazing is this story?