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Kylie McConville

Dad Films Premature Baby’s First Year And Reminds Us All Just How Magical Life Is

PUBLISHED ON 11/25/2013

Let's talk about how emotional this darling little video is, shall we? Baby boy Ward Miles Miller entered the world at just 25 weeks old. His mom, Lyndsey Miller , delivered him just four hours after showing up at the hospital complaining of cramps. Ward was born 15 weeks prematurely and scored frighteningly low on a test measuring bleeding in his brain. He then spent the next 107 days of his life in the NICU. But alongside his soaring heart rates was an incredible, terrifying hope that lingered.

A year later, after his first birthday, his photographer father, Ben Miller , wrapped a video documenting their son's first year for his wife, who was celebrating a birthday of her own and the anniversary of the day that Ward came home for good. He's now 16 months and learning to talk and crawl. Ben told the Huffington Post, "It was all a blur on one hand, yet on the other hand I remember EVERY detail, every facial expression on the nurses’ faces and every emotion I had. Two days earlier we were on vacation in a tiny town in Michigan. Who knows what would have happened if it happened then?"

Beautifully, though, are the touching moments that Ben shared with readers about those first moments with his son. Just 10 days after Ward was born, a brain scan revealed the bleeding in his brain. He scored a 2 out of 4 (for being the worst) on one hemisphere and a 4 out of 4 on the other. When doctors said the couldn't do anything to fix it, Ben remembers that all that was left was prayer. In one of the lowest moments after his son's delivery, Ben wrote about the miracle that he and Lyndsey witnessed in his journal:

"At the 6:00 care time, we were holding his hand, looking at him, talking to him. His CPAP mask was off, and his feeding tube was out as well. He was feeling good since he didn't have any of that on. While we were watching him, he turned his little head towards us, and then opened his eyes. We know he can't see at this stage, but the fact that he opened them, and opened them so wide we had not seen before. He stared right at us. He held our gaze. Just looked right at us. Didn't blink. I had enough time to get a photo of it. After a little while he shut his little eyes and turned his head back to the ceiling. I will never forget that moment. I feel as if he was telling us 'I'm okay!!! Don't give up on me!"

Hope lingered and on Lindsey's birthday, Ben gifted his wife and new mom with an incredible video documenting their journey together:

Congratulations (and happy birthday!) to Lyndsey, Ben and Ward.

Did you have a premature delivery?