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