Harley Gulliksen was born just 27 weeks into her mother's pregnancy. She weighed less than a can of soda; her tiny feet were no bigger than a quarter. After five long months in the NICU, Harley is finally home with her mom and dad.

Idaho's KTVB reports that Harley Gulliksen was the smallest baby to survive delivery at Vancouver's Salmon Creek Medical Center. Doctors were not optimistic about Harley's chances of survival, but the tiny baby turned out to be a big fighter: she endured countless complications and a five-month stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (also another hospital record).

Harley is now home with her mom and dad. She still requires oxygen and other special needs, but I know her parents are elated to have their little girl home. My heart aches for them as I know how hard a NICU stay can be.

When she was a newborn, Dolly's head was so small it fit in the palm of my hand. This picture was taken four days after she was born--the day she came back to us from the NICU.
When she was a newborn, Dolly's head was so small it fit in the palm of my hand. This picture was taken four days after she was born--the day she came back to us from the NICU.
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I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and placed on bedrest at 27 weeks into my pregnancy. At 28 weeks, I was rushed to the hospital and given a massive dose of steroids to prepare my baby's lungs for early delivery. A neonatologist came and told us Dolly's chance of survival was about 50%. We were crushed.

Our prayers were answered, and my blood pressure and protein levels finally went down. I was sent back home. I endured two more hospitalizations and early delivery scares at 31 and 34 weeks before Dolores was born on September 2, 2013--exactly 37 weeks into my pregnancy.

She was technically full term but still so tiny--just five pounds and ten ounces. She had to stay in the NICU for a while, and it was the worst thing I have ever endured.

Seeing your tiny baby hooked up to machines and monitors is heartbreaking. I remember seeing an IV in Dolly's little hand and sobbing. Her blood pressure cuff looked like a Barbie accessory. She looked so helpless, and I had to leave her there.

Dolly's stay in the NICU was nothing like what Harley's parents endured. I can't even begin to fathom five months of that hell. I am so happy that their little girl is HOME--and I know they are, too.

Dealing with premature birth is hard. It's the toughest thing a parent can endure. Harley's story--even Dolly's story--are examples of what thousands of families face each year. Please consider supporting the March of Dimes, an awesome organization devoted to helping these children and their families.

I snapped this pic a few months ago--look at her preemie diaper and onesie compared to what she was wearing at six months old!
I snapped this pic a few months ago--look at her preemie diaper and onesie compared to what she was wearing at six months old!
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