When a premature baby was born at less than 22 weeks, she was just the size of a Coke can. Her parents were scared and anxious she wouldn’t survive. When the mother saw her tiny baby and the fighting spirit the child had, she didn’t give up hope.
Robin and Joel Schneider looked forward to the arrival of their second child. Robin, a 30-year-old administrative assistant from Kansas City, Missouri, had a perfect pregnancy for the first few months; however, at 20 weeks, her waters broke due to a cervix problem.
Robin hung on for almost two weeks, but an infection forced her to deliver her baby, and thus Eliora Schneider was born at 21 weeks and 6 days in June 2017.
“It was absolutely terrifying,” Robin told Mail Online. “We tried to remain positive but it was grim.
“We knew the risks and we knew that the odds were completely stacked against our daughter. But in the end there was no choice—the infection meant that I had to deliver her or risk serious harm to us both.”
After Eliora was born, weighing just 13.6 ounces (approx. 386 grams) and measuring 10.4 inches long, she was whisked to the NICU.
“I did not think that a human being could be so tiny,” said Robin. “She weighed a little less than a can of soda and to be honest, it was scary to look at her.”
“I cried and cried as soon as I saw her. Joel tried to be strong for me but I know that later he broke down. We didn’t know if our baby would survive the night, let alone the coming days and that was a horrible place to be,” Robin shared.
But 10 hours later, after Robin was allowed to have a closer look at Eliora, she was amazed to see how tough her baby girl was.
“When I saw her moving around, I knew that we had a fighting chance,” said Robin. “If she was literally fighting so hard to survive, then I believed that she would—she was so incredibly feisty already.”
In the following months, they almost lost baby Eliora twice when she had infections and her heartbeat dropped extremely low. But Eliora eventually fought through it all.
Eliora spent about six months in NICU. Before Christmas, this brave baby girl was released from the hospital and had her first Christmas at home with her parents and 2-year-old brother, Elijah.
“It truly is a Christmas miracle,” said Robin, who affectionately calls her baby girl Ellie. “It’s been a rollercoaster ride and it probably will continue to be so. Thanks to our faith and to God, we feel in our hearts that the only way is up for our Ellie, our beautiful Christmas miracle.”
The Schneiders created a Facebook page for Eliora, where they regularly post updates. Based on the recent posts, Eliora is getting stronger and better each week, which is wonderful to see. She is an adorable little girl, and a baby who truly defied the odds.