A mother has shared incredible photos of her ‘miracle’ baby girl who weighed just 1 pound, 2 ounces when she was born four months before her November 16 due date.
Lura Lauer, 28, and her fiancé Ricky Garcia, 39, from Charlotte, North Carolina, welcomed twins Lyric Elaine and Cali Rose on July 15 after she went into premature labor 22 weeks and two days into her pregnancy.
Speaking with The Sun, the mom said the micro-preemies were both given a 10 per cent survival rate. Cali tragically died two days after she was born, but their surviving daughter Lyric has been defying the odds and is now three weeks old.
Miracle baby: Lyric Elaine Garcia weighed 1 pound, 2 ounces when she was born at 22 weeks and two days, four months before her November 16 due date
‘Every challenge she’s faced thus far, she’s been kicking a**,’ Lauer said of her baby girl. ‘She’s such a little fighter and the nurses and doctors have been taking great care of her.
‘They’ve been very vigilant and proactive, everything that’s popped up they’ve caught quickly,’ she added. ‘The doctor’s exact words were, “She is amazing us every day.” She is truly a miracle.’
While sharing her story with The Sun, she explained that she found out she was pregnant in March and learned she was having twins during her first appointment with her gynecologist.
The yoga teacher said she was sick all day, every day for her entire first trimester of pregnancy and much of her second.
She was around 20 weeks pregnant when she started experiencing contractions but thought they were Braxton Hicks, ‘false labor’ pains that are common in pregnancy.
Lauer said her doctor assured her the contractions were probably Braxton Hicks when she had a check-up on July 14 and was told she could continue her yoga practice.
After class that evening, the contractions worsened to the point that she couldn’t sleep. She said she spent the night crying in pain.
Lauer and Garcia called the hospital the next morning and was asked to time her contractions to see how frequent they were. Once she said they were ‘one right after another,’ she was told to come in immediately.
Incredible: Lyric’s mother, Lura Lauer, has shared photos of her ‘little fighter’ after welcoming twins on July 15. Lyric’s sister, Cali Rose Garcia, died two days after she was born
The couple went to their local hospital, Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, where they learned she was already 3 centimeters dilated. She was given medicine to stop the contractions before speaking with neonatal doctor.
‘He told us the hospital we were at do not resuscitate if you give birth to a baby at less than 24 weeks,’ she recalled. ‘He said if I was to give birth that day, I would have to say goodbye because they’re not viable at that age.
‘They said they didn’t have the capability to care for babies that young. It felt like a nightmare.’
They decided to transfer to the Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte, which was just 15 minutes away, because it had a more advanced neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Lauer said she was supposed to take medication to stop her contractions every six hours, but seven had already passed when she got to the hospital.
Her contractions had worsened by the time she got the medicine at 7 p.m. She was 6 centimeters dilated and in labor.
Lyric was born less than an hour later at 7:53 p.m. and ‘came out with one push.’ Cali arrived the same way three minutes later, weighing 1 pound, 1 ounce — an ounce less than her sister. They were both only 11 inches long.
‘I heard both of them cry and they both were breathing, which was a good sign, but they were immediately rushed out of the room, before I got to hold them,’ she said.
Looking back: Lauer, 28, and her fiancé Ricky Garcia, 39, found out she was pregnant in March and were surprised to learn they were having twins
Critical condition: Cali had severe brain hemorrhaging and suffered more complications than her sister, who is now three weeks old
Lauer was grateful to have her fiancé with her, which wouldn’t have been possible a few months ago because of COVID-19 restrictions. Although they knew their daughters were in critical condition, they hoped they’d beat the odds.
She said that two days after she gave birth, the doctor told them that Cali had two brain hemorrhages that were both grade 4, the most severe, and was declining.
They were told she was in pain, and if they kept her on a ventilator and life support, she would be suffering. With all of the complications, it was unlikely she would ever live a normal life.
‘It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to decide,’ she said. ‘But Ricky and I didn’t want to be selfish and didn’t want her to suffer, so we made the decision to take her off the ventilator.’
Lauer said she and Garcia kissed their daughter and held her close as she took her last breath.
‘I’m a very spiritual person and I lost my mother when I was young, so I told her to go with her grandmother,’ she said, adding: ‘I recently spoke to a psychic medium, who told me Cali sacrificed herself for her sister.’
Lyric, who had a grade 1 brain hemorrhage, started showing improvement after her sister passed away and has had few complications aside from some necessary procedures.
Amazing moment: Lauer was able to hold Lyric for the first time when she was two and a half weeks old
Devoted parents: Lauer and Garcia are determined to bring their baby girl home one day
According to the mom, the infant has had surgery to insert a tube to drain her perforated intestine. She also had a tube inserted to treat her collapsed lung.
Lauer was able to hold her daughter for the first time two and a half weeks after her birth. She shared a photo of the emotional moment on Instagram on Sunday, saying an ‘immense peace fell over [her]’ when they put Lyric in her arms.
‘I was holding my baby girl and she was holding me,’ she wrote in the caption. ‘I prayed for this moment. I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to let her go. But the moment came and went, and soon after she was placed back into her incubator.’
‘She’s still got a long fight ahead of her,’ she added. ‘Every day brings new challenges for her and she is bravely taking on each one … I have to let go of my fears and keep my faith strong. We WILL bring her home one day. We WILL get to hold her close and sing her to sleep. We WILL tell her the story of how she is a miracle from God! I know it in my heart.’
Babies who are born before 26 weeks, like Lyric, are considered micro-preemies. They experience more medical problems than preemies born later, including brain bleeding and poor heart function, but it’s possible for them to fully recover.
In 2014, Lyla Stensrud broke the record for the earliest premature baby in the world to survive after she was born at 21 weeks and fours days. She is now six years old and continues to thrive.
The record was previously held by James Elgin Gil, who was 21 weeks and five days premature when he was born in 1987. He has since grown to be a healthy adult.
‘Since I posted her pictures on social media, I’ve had mums from all over the world, from Istanbul to Canada, reach out with stories of 22 weekers surviving and thriving,’ Lauer told The Sun.
‘It just baffles me that so many hospitals don’t resuscitate at that age, because it is absolutely possible for a baby to survive.
‘I think Lyric is an example that — even when the doctors are unsure — hope, faith, determination, and love are such powerful energies. I believe that’s what’s keeping our daughter alive,’ she added.
‘This is why I wanted to share her story. Lyric is an inspiration to me and to so many other people.’
The couple’s family started a GoFundMe for Lyric’s medical expenses and Cali’s memorial and have already raised over $16,000.