Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Miracle Michael 23-Weeker

This story was thoughtfully submitted by Kristin, one of our readers.

My son is my miracle. He is a surviving twin. He was born at 23 weeks, 5 days (we think he may have been younger gestationally now). He weighed 14 oz. at birth (410 grams). We spent 170 days in 3 NICU’s. In all, Miracle Michael has endured 9 surgeries to date. His initial surgeries occurred 12-14 days after he was born and he barely weighed over 1lb.! He’s had surgeries for an illeal atresia, pda ligation, laser surgery both eyes twice (ROP stage 4 and detaching retinas), vitrectomy on the right eye, broviac, reinastimosis from illeal atresia, g-tube, tonisilectomy and adnoidectomy. Michael is now 17 months old (13 adjusted) and weighs 21 lbs. 3 oz and is 29 3/4 in. long. He is still on O2 full time. Michael has pulmonary hypertension and a paralyzed vocal cord. Michael has worn glasses since he was 7 months old. Recently, he has passed a swallow study to start solids, however we just had surgery for the tonsils and adnoids a a little over a month ago which put a halt to solids for now. He is learning how to crawl, sit up, play peek a boo, get to a kneeling position and giving loves/kisses. Yes, he is very slow on his milestones…but we are meeting them in his timeline. He is the happiest, most laid back little guy for everything he has been through. Believe in MIRACLES! They really do happen every day!

In the beginning, I had issues my entire pregnancy with my son and his twin. I bled the entire pregnancy and some days it was a little, others it was almost hemorraging. A week before my son was born we were in MT for vacation. We had our boxer puppy, who was rambunctious, and we were trying to find him a home at the time. We got back from vacation and had our normal weekly perinatal appointment on that Friday, which was our worst nightmare. I found out I had no amniotic fluid at all and was advised that we needed to meet with the NICU on Monday to prepare for a premature birth and to determine when I would be admitted to the hospital for monitoring. Over the weekend, I was out of my mind. I was trying to get my daughter squared away as to where she was going to stay. Then a family called the boxer rescue and wanted to meet our puppy. They loved him and decided to adopt him on that Sunday. We were running around frantically all weekend. On Sunday night I started having mild contractions, but they went away. Monday morning at 4am, I woke up to the real thing. I jumped in the shower thinking maybe they would subside, but by 6am they were 5 min. apart. We rushed to the hospital and immediately I was hooked up to the monitors. My son’s heart rate was dropping drastically with every mild contraction (from 150’s to 40-50). My OB would not do a c-section right away, as he said my son would never make it and it was pointless to put me through surgery). My dr. told me to have the Chaplain come in immediately to be with us. I declined! My Mom actually called my cousin, whom I had never met, as he was a minister. He rushed to the hospital to be with me that day. We had my brother in law, James, come get Kira from the hospital and we flew my brother, Michael, in from Montana to take care of her the rest of the time. After getting Kira out of the hospital, the perinatal specialist came in and tried an amnio infusion, which failed. One NNP, who was getting off shift, came in and asked me what I felt in my heart. I told her that I knew he was going to be just fine if they would do the c-section. She told me to never let go of that feeling! She then went to my OB and told him how I felt. They came in and gave us the grave statistics, that I know many of you have heard this speech. If he was over 1lb., he had a 14% chance. We said go for it. They did the c-section(reluctantly I might add). Then came the other speech…Michael was not over 1lb., like they initially had thought, and now the statistics were a 4% chance. They told me that he would not make it out of the OR, let alone overnight. I merely told them he was going to be just fine and not to worry. My cousin went up and baptized my son after they rushed him to the NICU. On my way up to see Michael in the NICU, my OB decided to inform me that he had lacerated Michael’s head during the c-section and Michael had to have 7-8 stitches. That was the least of my concerns at that point. I saw my son for the 1st time and I was not scared at all. Michael was moving around, his eyes were fused shut, but he was moving. That night I did not go back into see him at bed time or through the night. I told the nurses and staff that it was in God’s hands now and that if Michael was there in the morning, then it was meant to be! He was there in the morning and actually had been turned down on his O2. I was not a big believer in God, but I will tell you that on that day my son was born something brought this calmness over me and told me everything was going to be allright. I know many don’t believe in signs, but there were so many things that just fell into place that weekend and that day for it to be something other than God’s will. To this day, I remember every detail. I remember that NNP talking with me and telling me to never let go of that feeling I had…I have never let go of that feeling and I never will! Michael is here to do great things and I am lucky enough to have him here and to watch it all unfold. Believe in Miracles!

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. I hope you believe in God now! What an amazing miraculous story!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. My 25 weeker was born 2 weeks ago and he was stable and then we got the call that he had caught an infection. He has tested positive for meningitis due to this infection and has been fighting really hard. It has been a very emotional and bumpy road the past few days for us and we know we are still not out of the woods yet but it is great to hear stories of success from other micro preemie parents.

  3. Yes ! micracles do happen my twins where born at 24 weeks and where given a 50% of survival, i was asked 2x to pull the plugs on them, thats how bad there where with so many things, now they are doing AWESOME ! better than expected, have faith, hope, love, GOD listen’s

  4. God’s work is so amazing!!

  5. He’s unbelievably adorable! I had a 27 weeker, and it’s so great to hear your story.

  6. I too have 23 weeker 880 grams. God has kept me strong n you also threw this time.

  7. These little babies are stronger then we think my little girl was born at 23weeks 1day and is now 14weeks old x

  8. My 23weeker was 585g when born she is 3LB 10oz x

  9. My son is also a surviving twin… we’re on day 124 in the NICU and up to 4 surgeries, but wow has Kristin been thru a lot! Prayers for your family!

  10. Beautiful story! I believe in miracles too. My twin sons were born at 27 weeks and they are 13 months now and doing great! All will be well.

  11. i dont much believe god has any part of it. my son was born @ 27 weeks 6 days and weighed 1.7lbs. your son is most definitely a miracle. your entire story was almost word for word like mine.. my son is 18 months and is also quite far behind but like you said its THEIR time lines. thank you for sharing your story!

  12. Yes he is a miracle! I also have a miracle girl born at 25 weeks and 5 days. She weighed 725 grams and had four operations her first week becouse she had NEC, part of her bowls had died. Then when she was a month old she got sepsis and nearly died. The doctor who operated on her never thought she would survive. She turns two in March and is still tiny. She only weighs 7,7 kg and is 72 cm tall. But she is healthy and that is all that matters.
    I also new after the third operation that she woukd survive.

  13. My granddaughter was born at 25 weeks. I remember the Dr. telling us that she wouldn’t make it. I prayed that God would let her live. She will be six in May:)

    • my grandson was born at 23wks will turn 5 September 27th reading all these stories brings back so many memories he was in nicu 7 months all on vent except for last two weeks he is the light of my life started prek in august doing good has overcome so many obstacles but god does have a plan for Zachary for all the parents good luck with your angels.

  14. I love reading about miracle babies. I have a miracle baby of my own. Olivia was born at 25w 4 days and weighed 370 grams 10 3/4 inches long. We spent 9 1/2 months in 2 NICUs. In May she will be home a year and will turn 2 in July. This week we started 24 hour room air trials where she can be off oxygen all day for the first time in her life. I thank God every day for Olivia and he wasn’t a part of my life before she came along but our babies are definitely testimony to his will and a mothers love. Congratulations to you on your strength and courage and for being an inspiration.

  15. my boy was 410g at 27 weeks and is now 50 days old. Great to read your stories of beating the odds.

  16. Our daughter was born at 23 weeks due to an incompetent cervix. She had PDA litigation, and laser eye surgery so far. The doctors is also wanting to do cataract surgery. She is still on and off the vent, because she keeps extubating. I believe in miracles and she is one weighing at birth only 1lb 2oz. She is a fighter and this has been very stressful…however your story really gave us our confidence back. Thank you for sharing it.

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