Even if they can be noisy and smelly, we love babies, don’t we? Innocent, playful and intrigued by the big, wide world around them, they represent hope for the future. In them, we see opportunity to right the wrongs of our life and set about instilling a new one with morals, values and a desire to do good by and for others.
Sadly, not all parents can be so lucky: sometimes, they are born sickly or disabled, facing many hardships over the course of their, unfortunately, short lives. Other times, the child is born early and must fight for survival, as its organs are simply not fully developed yet. This can be a time of great pain and worry for the family, and can end tragically. However, there is always hope
A premature baby’s smile is a beautiful thing to behold. Little Freya Vinje was born on Thanksgiving in 2014, following a complicated pregnancy by her mother, Lauren, battling preeclampsia (a complication characterised by high blood pressure). At 28 weeks, Freya weighed below the average, at just a measly 1.7kg. However, the little one soon gained notoriety for her incredible smile.
An overjoyed Lauren remarked to ABC News that
I was talking to her and I had said ‘should we send a picture to Daddy?’ and right when I was about to take the picture, she had this huge smile. It was a picture that I had always wanted to get out for people to see because of how it touched me [in] the way that it did. We gave a copy to the nurses, and when we went to have our second little girl, they still had it hanging up in their break room.
Since posting on her Facebook, the image has been shared 35,000 times, and received more than 300,000 likes. Freya will celebrate her second birthday next month. Her mother also said,
Honestly, she is the best thing that has happened to us. We go to the store and she’s the friendliest little girl and she says hi to everybody. She’s so fun. She’s so happy. That picture at five days old, you can see her little personality and you look at her now, and she hasn’t changed. She’s still the happy little girl in that photo.
Sights like this, while they may simply be cute to an outside observer, are an important boost for parents. When you have a premature child, where the health risks are even higher than with just a regular baby, anything that seems like a sign of reassurance can be a massive morale boost, as well as give hope for their future.