After spending more than 100 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Finn James Hill, a baby boy born weighing only 1 pound and 2 ounces, was finally ready to go home with his parents.
Finn was born nearly four months early, via emergency cesarean section, with doctors predicting a 50% chance of life. He was released into the loving arms and home of his parents, Jessica and Chris Hill, 113 days later.
“It didn’t hit me until we left and it was just the three of us,” Jessica explained. “I had a feeling we wouldn’t have to return him.” It fulfilled all of our hopes and prayers.”
To say the least, the beautiful couple’s journey to becoming parents has been arduous. They went through numerous cycles of in vitro fertilization using their own egg and sperm after nine years of infertility. The couple looked into embryo adoption after several failed tries.
Jessica and Chris were able to adopt eight embryos from a couple they met on Facebook. Their first effort failed, but the couple became pregnant with twins on their second attempt.
The parents lost baby B at ten weeks, but baby A, Finn, survived. Jessica had a blood clot at 24 weeks, which caused her water to burst and resulted in early delivery, with Finn weighing only 1 pound 2 ounces.
“It was just disbelief at first,” Jessica explained. “I began to scream and asked my doctor, ‘What are his odds of survival if you take him out right now?’ He was safer on the outside than he was inside, according to the doctor.”
Micro preemies are babies born weighing less than 1 pound 12 ounces or before the 26th to 28th week of pregnancy. Micro preemies nearly generally require longer stays in the hospital.
Finn was transported from Lakeland Regional Medical Center to Nemours’ level 4 NICU less than two weeks after his birth.
Jessica recounted, “I felt a little bit like a failure to be honest because one second he’s inside of [me] and I’m protecting him, and the next he’s out and in a completely different part of the hospital.” “It was frightening.”
Finn’s struggle over the next few months was tremendous. He had two procedures, one to fix a hole in his heart and the other to treat Necrotizing enterocolitis, a deadly condition that affects preemies’ intestines. Finn also needed the assistance of a ventilator to breathe.
Finn’s health greatly improved after surgery, and one month after he first came into this world, Jessica was able to hold her son for the very first time.
“It was unbelievable,” Jessica explained about first holding her son. “You only get to hold their hands, and I had to make due as far as touch goes, but it was a huge relief to watch his stats improve [as I did] skin-to-skin with him. It made me feel like my mom duties were kicking in and he knew who I was.”
After Finn’s continued recovery and after nearly four months, Finn was finally released from the hospital and was allowed to go home for the first time. He is now 4 months old, weighing 5 pounds and 5 ounces, and his parents couldn’t be happier. Jessica said that he is a good sleeper and is so very loved.
“He just always has this grin on his face. He is so loved, I can’t even tell you,” she said.
People around the world are praying for Finn’s recovery and are sending the smiling baby boy and his parents loving messages of encouragement. Jessica and Chris regularly share updates about Finn on their Facebook page which is dedicated to their little fighter: Fighting Finn. To them, everything has been worth it.
We are grateful for Finn’s remarkable recovery and that he has finally made it home to be with his loving parents.