RICHMOND, Va. — A Richmond mom who was born prematurely recently gave birth to a micro preemie at St. Mary's Hospital.
Baby Grace came at just 24 weeks. The chance of survival for a baby born that young is about 50%.
Grace has been in the neonatal intensive care unit since she was born and is currently on oxygen to help support her lung development, but she is otherwise healthy and making great progress.
At 33 weeks, Grace was removed from her incubator — which is the same age her mom, Megan Grace Baker, was removed from her incubator when she was born prematurely at St. Mary's facility 24 years ago.
"When they told me that I had given birth to like a 24, 25-weeker, I'm like, "oh shoot!" because I had known from my research that me, I was a 30-weeker. And that was a semi-critical stage," Baker said. "So to tell me that I have a daughter even more critical, that's where it kind of hit me initially. And then the more and more she's progressed as amazingly as she has, just kind of eased our minds that okay, we can stop stressing about this because she's okay."
Grace's next big milestone will be coming off that oxygen in the next two weeks
Dr. Ann Heerens is Grace's primary caregiver at the hospital. She said her success story may not have been possible when her mom was born.
"As someone who's been a neonatologist for more than 20 years ago, I look at a baby like Grace, and it's unbelievable to me," said Heerens. "It's no way...my brain can hardly process that we've got a baby at 24 weeks who you know, at 35 weeks corrected, which is where she is now, that she's not on any oxygen that her head is normal that she is beautiful and growing well."
As long as Grace continues to eat well, she is expected to go home in mid to late April. Baker is hoping she can come home on April 19, which is her husband's birthday.