Baby Austin, christened “Preemie Prince” by some, was born in July 2016 weighing just 1 pound, 14 ounces after 25 weeks in the womb, the Huffington Post reports.
The Preemie Prince did well for the first 48 hours of life, but after that, it was downhill or so it seemed, according to the family’s personal Instagram account. Specifically, heart surgery within 10 days of birth, two collapsed lungs requiring ventilators, and five blood transfusions. Baby Austin only was up to a little over 2 pounds about three weeks after birth, his family said.
But when little Austin left the hospital on Oct. 7, “Pomp and Circumstance” echoed throughout the neonatal intensive care unit.
It was a pregnancy that seemed normal initially, until some light spotting occurred. Ashley Hernandez said she went to the emergency room, concerned about Austin. The baby ended up being born the next day, and it was 25 days before the mother could even hold her child, the Huffington Post reports.
“After work, I’d get to the hospital around 7 or 8 and stay until 1 in the morning. There was one point, probably in mid-September, when I remember saying to Ashley, “I’m not sure how much longer I can do this. It takes so much out of you,” Austin’s father, Aaron Bankhead, told the news outlet.
“Some days he’d be doing so well, and then others would be really hard. I’m at my job 50 hours a week, and she’s there at the NICU all day with him, and I just wanted us all to be home together. We said even if he has to come home on oxygen, we just want him home,” the father continued.
When Austin left the hospital in Downey, California, he was 5 pounds and 2 ounces, and on 0.25 liters of oxygen, medications for apnea, and other various medications; but his parents are thankful to the medical team who invested so much to save their son’s life, and are overjoyed to have him home.
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Last week, Aaron and Ashely posted this message on Instagram:
I have so much to be grateful & thankful for during this time of year. If it wasn’t for my mommy & daddy believing in me, my medical team being the best at what they do, and all of you that have supported me the whole way I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am. I’m closing in on 9 pounds! I’ve been going longer without my oxygen & I’m a hungry little tiger on the prowl for some 🦃🦃🦃. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, from the Preemie Prince 👶🏾 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This year has been unique for us because everyday we have been able to share with the little man has been a joyous occasion. It’s safe to say we are thankful for the gift of LIFE today & everyday🙏🏾 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #preemieprince #babybankhead #nicuGrad #nicuDad #nicuMom #miraclebaby #marchofdimes #preemie #micropreemie #preemiepower #preemiestrong #blaxicanbaby #actuallyblessed #mixedbabymagic #theellenshow #todayshow #thanksgiving #thanksgiving2016 #uniteinmotherhood #naturallyperfectkids #beautifulmixedkids #bourgiebabies #blackmomsblog #huffpostgram #mixedracebabiesig #mb_feature #littleandbrave #viewsAftertheNICU #AUSTINstrong #25weeker
Families and medical teams put a huge amount of time, money and energy into saving very premature babies like Austin. Unfortunately, babies in the womb at the same stage as Austin still can be legally aborted for any reason. These situations demonstrate a contradiction of values in our society.
The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group formerly affiliated with Planned Parenthood, reported 1.3 percent of abortions in 2012 were performed at 21 weeks or later. The percentage may seem small, but, with an estimate 1 million-plus abortions performed that year, 1.3 percent represents thousands of unborn babies’ lives.
In New York alone, more than 2,600 abortions were done in one year on babies older than 21 weeks and more than 1,000 late-term abortions were done on babies in Georgia. Hundreds of abortions are done on unborn babies older than 21 weeks in Colorado, Ohio, Washington, New Jersey and Texas, according to the CDC data.