A baby born at just 23 weeks and 4 days in the United Kingdom felt loved and protected by her mother's warm cuddles.
Elsie Dutton weighed little more than a tin of baked beans, but the little girl managed to pull through after her mom, Amy, went into labor.
What are the details?
The brave baby was born in London at St George's Hospital, and she has defied all expectations and pulled through due to her mother's "kangaroo care."
Amy could only hold her for 30 seconds when she was born, and then the baby was taken to the NICU.
However, tiny Elsie had a will of her own, and she pulled through even though her parents were warned she might not be with them for long.
"We had to wait for three hours; it was the longest three hours of my life; we were constantly clock-watching. It was a really scary time," Amy shared with The Epoch Times.
Her parents were relieved when they finally got to see their baby again, and they literally ran to be with her.
"It was a relief when we saw her again," Amy said. The mom had to wait a whole month to hold her baby as Elsie was in an incubator.
"Waiting so long to hold her was difficult, so when I finally did, it meant so much. The first time I held her was heartwarming. I've never known anything like it," Amy recalls.
The mom, who works as a bridal stylist and gets a fair share in many love stories, truly felt that the connection with her daughter was a unique emotion that couldn't be compared to anything else in the whole world.
Amy was advised to keep her daughter close so she could grow stronger, so cuddles were a wonderful solution for Elsie.
The mother sat and held her daughter close, cuddling her each day for hours while the tiny baby grew strong and happy.
"It was just fantastic. I'd hold her, and I could see her heart rate was relaxing on all the monitors. It felt so special. It was good for her and me because it helps bring my stress down by being able to hold her," the mother explained.
To this day, Amy is amazed at what cuddles could do for her baby. "This saved her life," she said.
The mother of two repeated the daily cuddles for four months and the "kangaroo care" made a difference in Elsie's chances of getting better.
During the four months, Scott, Elsie's dad, and Charlie, her big brother, stayed home and went to work and school, traveling from Barnsley, South Yorks, to London every weekend to see Elsie.
"It was difficult because I was spending most of the week on my own. They would arrive in London late on Friday night, and children weren't allowed on the ward; we were never together as a family," Amy recalls.
One of them had to be with Charlie, so when Scott came to be with Elsie, Amy would go outside with her son.
One weekend, Scott's sister came with them, so she stayed with Charlie, and both parents got a chance to be with Elsie at the same time.
After four months of care in London and another month in a medical center located in Barnsley, Amy was finally able to bring Elsie home.
"She's defied all odds; she's amazing. Bringing her home the first time was honestly awesome. I've never felt such relief as when we walked out of the hospital and took her home," Amy said.
The entire process felt like a "strange dream" to Amy, and she's grateful Elsie was strong and got better on the cuddles regimen.
"To think she's overcome this and come away with no issues, we're so fortunate. It's so lovely to have her home and the whole family together. It's amazing to hold your baby and think how you could've lost her, and having her home after all that uncertainty was bliss," Amy concluded about being reunited with the rest of the family while seeing everyone love each other more every day.