Stephanie Banman and her husband, Tyler, had been trying to get pregnant for a long time, suffering two miscarriages along the way.

When they found out they were expecting a little girl, they were beyond thrilled.

At eighteen weeks, however, doctors told Stephanie that their baby wasn’t growing as quickly as she should be and diagnosed her with Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR).

Image Credit: Stephanie Banman

Banman explains the diagnosis to Independent Journal Review:

“My placenta hadn’t developed properly and my body couldn’t give Hailey the nutrients she needed to grow.”

Banman felt like she had failed her unborn daughter:

“It was very stressful, I kind of felt like I wasn’t good enough for my baby.”

After the diagnosis, the expectant parents routinely began traveling four hours from home for weekly ultrasounds. Each doctor’s appointment ended with sobering words of caution: “Your daughter might not survive.”

This was difficult news to hear time and time again, but Banman continued to have hope. As she told The Sun:

“I kind of knew that she would be okay because I felt her move a lot.”

At twenty-seven weeks, Banman was admitted to the hospital for monitoring; her blood pressure was high and the fluid surrounding the baby was lacking. She explains to Independent Journal Review:

“I had an emergency C-section after a weekend of very close monitoring. My blood pressure was very high and it was affecting Hailey’s wellbeing. There was also a drastic loss of fluid in my uterus, Hailey had to come out.”

Little Hailey was born thirteen weeks before her due date, weighing just one pound, two ounces. It was a miracle — no one had expected her to survive.

Image Credit: Stephanie Banman

Hailey was taken to the NICU where she is being closely monitored. Because her lungs were not fully developed when she was born, Banman says that her oxygen requirements are higher than that of a normal thirty-eight-week baby. Nonetheless, she continues to improve:

“She is slowly growing, she was 524 grams (1 lb. 2 oz.) when she was born and is now 1505 grams (3.3 lbs.). We are working on oral feeding, she is tube fed right now.”

Though it has been difficult, Banman says she holds on to the good days — it makes the bad days easier to handle.

Image Credit: Stephanie Banman

Banman tells Independent Journal Review:

“Every day is a new day and I’m very thankful to be able to be with Hailey every day.”

Hailey is expected to be in the NICU at least until her October 12th due date, though Banman thinks it will be until the end of October. In the meantime, Banman will continue to embrace her little miracle.

“This experience has been and continues to be hard on our little family but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she says. “Our little miracle baby is here and we are so lucky to be able to watch her grow.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with expenses.

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