Ashlee, who was born on Sept. 22, 12-weeks before her due date, weighed only 1 pound, 6.9 ounces and has been in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) since her birth.
It's been a trying time for the Sammons family, but with each passing day Ashlee continues to show signs of improvement. And like all new parents, Jen and Jason are glowing with love and affection over their little miracle.
Now tipping the scales at 2.69 pounds and free of the ventilator, Ashlee's parents held their daughter in their arms for the very first time this past weekend. "Jason let me hold her first," beamed Jen. "It was the quickest half hour, but also the most treasured." The Sammons are allowed contact for just a brief 30 minutes since Ashlee's body loses heat rapidly. Another milestone for Ashlee and her parents was the sweet sound of their daughter crying, something she hasn't been able to do because of the ventilator.
Ashlee had a great weekend," explained her mother. "The doctors are very pleased. She is now breathing with the aid of tiny oxygen prongs in her nose instead of the ventilator and is doing very well." However, Jen was quick to point out that there still could be more worries ahead as well. "Doctors say it's pretty normal to have good and bad days. But you certainly appreciate the good ones and they give you strength to get over the bad ones," said Jen.