Every day, four times a day, Lacey and Wynne Breeden visit their daughter, Watson, in the neonatal unit at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. That time is spent in a gown and gloves, touching their baby through the holes of an incubator.
"Sweet pumpkin," Lacey Breeden cooed, "Mama's here."
Breeden developed HELLP syndrome during her pregnancy, a condition so serious both the mother's and baby's lives were at risk.
HELLP stands for three symptoms of the disease: hemolysis, elevated liver enzyme levels and low platelet levels.
"I didn't know what kind of situation we were in," said husband, Wynne Breeden. "What kind of life and death situation this was."
Watson was born at 25 weeks, nearly four months early. At just 11 ounces, she was the smallest baby born at Baylor Dallas.
"I mean she was itty bitty," said Wynne Breeden. "Smaller, way smaller than a miniature football."
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"Short of saying this is a miracle, it's really hard to put that into words, the fact that the baby is still doing good," explained Dr. Enrique Rios, neonatologist at Baylor Dallas. "It is by far the smallest baby I've ever seen."
Rios said babies that size usually have a 20 to 30 percent survival rate. Every day, Watson is beating the odds.
"She's in here struggling for her life every day," Lacey Breeden said. "At first, that's hard, but now we feel like it's a blessing because we're experiencing a miracle that most people don't get to see unfold."
On Thursday evening, Watson's dad got his first chance to hold his daughter outside the incubator.
"Hey, pretty girl," Wynne said, as two nurses handed over the baby and a tangle of tubes connected to her. "It's great, just so warm and her heartbeat, it feels real."
Neonatal nurse Rachel Barndt got choked up watching the moment.
"I believe that everything happens for a reason," Barndt said. I believe that faith will carry you further than you ever expected. Faith and love."