Baby Believed to Be One of the Youngest Surviving Preemies in Scotland Is Home and Thriving

By Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.
August 10, 2021 Updated: August 14, 2021

A baby who was born at just 22 weeks old is believed to be one of the youngest surviving premature infants in Scotland.

At birth, baby Sofia Viktoria Birina weighed a mere 1.1 pounds (approx. 500 g) and was given a “10 percent chance of survival during labor,” reported the BBC.

The warrior baby, who measured no larger than the size of a human hand, has since safely made it out of the NICU and into the loving care of her family at home.

Epoch Times Photo
Parents Egija (L) and Inars with their baby daughter, Sofia. (Courtesy of Inars Birina)

Mom Egija of Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, was due to give birth on Feb. 1 but went into labor months prior, and her baby was born pre-term on Oct. 1, 2020.

Reflecting on her pregnancy days, Egija said she believed everything was fine until after her 20-week scan, reported the BBC.

“Then just over a week later, I felt pain so I went into hospital and was told that I was already dilated and had to go into labor,” Egija told the news outlet.

“After 10 days’ bed rest, our beloved daughter Sofia made an appearance. She arrived in the world with the biggest scream and was crying so much.

“We didn’t expect she would survive but that’s where our journey started.”

Epoch Times Photo
Baby Sofia in an NICU incubator at University Hospital Wishaw in North Lanarkshire. (Courtesy of Inars Birina)

Egija said that her preemie daughter was so fragile and small at birth that “her skin was see-through.” And she held her for the first time a week after birth.

For the first three months of her life, baby Sofia remained in an incubator.

“I was at the hospital all the time,” Egija said. “Some days as long as 16 hours, and my husband would come after work.

“I just didn’t want to leave her, especially on the many really tough days when we didn’t think Sofia would make it.”

Epoch Times Photo
Baby Sofia in an incubator. (Courtesy of Inars Birina)

Apart from several infections and underdeveloped lungs, their miracle preemie battled several health issues, including brain bleeds, eye disease, and a heart defect, the BBC reported.

“She was hooked up to lots of machines and she was ventilated for several weeks to help her breathe,” the mom said.

“First time they tried to get her to breathe on her own, she only lasted 20 minutes, then her heart rate dropped and I felt like I was losing her—but the medical and nursing staff were great.”

Eventually, the tiny fighter won over her hardships and has survived. After spending 132 days in the hospital, baby Sofia was finally able to go home with her family on Feb. 10.

According to Sofia’s mother, she has been “doing great” since being released from the hospital.

“She has the biggest and most beautiful smile on her face and is getting used to her new surroundings,” she said.

Epoch Times Photo
Baby Sofia. (Courtesy of Inars Birina)

Celebrating significant milestones of her miracle baby on her Instagram page, Egija said she felt like “the proudest mummy” when Sofia managed to breathe on her own.

“You are such a strong girl, you make my heart melt every day. I love you my sunshine,” she wrote.

Baby Sofia turned 10 months old on Aug. 1 and is thriving to health with each passing day.

“She’s 10 months old, I still cannot believe it,” wrote Egija. “And yes, we celebrate every single month of her bravery [and] courage.”

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Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.