Thalia was born 49 days early. She spent 3 weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, New Jersey in the watchful care of their nurses and doctors. Her progress is breathtaking.

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Thalia receives a lesson in proper burping technique

At only 33 weeks old, Thalia has not developed the muscle coordination to breathe, suck and swallow at the same time

Colostrum and mother’s milk is passed directly into her stomach from a tube running through her small nose or mouth.

Safely in her incubator, Thalia wears a cap to keep her head warm, eye shades to block out the bright lights and a pacifier to comfort her

From a parent’s perspective, science applied to an infant is both miraculous and terrifying at the same time

Monitors and sensors covering Thalia from chest to toe enable the nurses to keep a watchful eye at all times.

But Thalia manages to loosen her monitor sensors nearly every day

Thalia sleeps gently in her mother’s arms

Thalia’s minuscule hand rests on her father’s finger

Thalia’s first day home

To be continued…