’I am fighting hard to get it all back’: Premature baby gives mom new lease on life

Premature baby gives mom new lease on life

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond mother is grateful she didn’t lose her baby after born at just 25 weeks.

Rameka Morris’s little girl, Mariyah, weighed just 14 ounces when she was born on April 1. Morris was supposed to give birth in July 2019, but instead, pregnancy complications meant Mariyah arrived early.

Morris had to go through an emergency C-section, while Mariyah fought to survive with a team of doctors and nurses in the NICU at VCU Medical Center.

“I didn’t see her at first, when I saw her it scared (me) - she was so little - I was upset and crying,” said Morris. “I got so discouraged. I ended up giving the [baby] stuff I bought away to another family that was in need. I don’t know how to explain how I felt, I didn’t think she was going to make it.”

Though she was born with breathing trouble, and struggled to gain weight, Mariyah proved to be a fighter. She came home from the hospital on July 8, which is three days before her scheduled due date.

“Those nurses, I love them, the doctors, everybody,” said Morris.

At three months old, Mariyah weighs 4 pounds. Morris says Mariyah is on track to gain an ounce a day.

“She’s loving, she’s a baby, you can’t help but fall in love with her. She is defying all the odds,” said Vernetta Jennings, a loved one who helps with Mariyah’s round the clock at home care.

Jennings is a part of the “village” of loved ones who are making sure Mariyah has all she needs.

“Initially we were thinking ‘what are we going to do bringing this baby home? All those nurses and machines, we don’t have those here,’ but she’s thriving,” said Jennings.

Morris says her goal is to give Mariyah and her older sister the best life possible, despite the difficulties their family has faced.

It has been almost 2 years since Morris lost her mother Vivian Robinson.

Robinson was killed in a triple stabbing in Richmond, and since her loss, Morris has been working to pick up the pieces.

“I’m not afraid to admit that I need a lot of help,” said Morris. “There’s a lot that I’m growing and learning, I am just worried about the foundation for my kids to have a home to always come back to.”

Along with friends and loved ones, Morris says the Salvation Army is assisting her family. Morris says Mariyah and her older sister help give her purpose and drive.

“I’m working, I’m saving, and I have prayer and a plan,” she explained. “I lost a lot along the way. Now that she’s here, I am fighting hard to get it all back."

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