Nashville mom of 13-ounce infant holds daughter for first time, 5 weeks after birth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mother’s Day came early for a Tennessee woman who finally got to hold her premature infant daughter five weeks after the 13-ounce child was born.

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Kiera O’Shea Vargas, a Nashville education consultant, got to hold her daughter, Sedinam Genevieve, for the first time on May 1, The Tennessean reported. The baby was born March 24 in Nashville’s Ascension St. Thomas Midtown. By Monday, the baby had nearly doubled in weight, tipping the scales at 1 pound, 9 ounces, Vargas wrote on her blog that day.

“So many emotions took over my body!” Vargas wrote on her blog on May 1. “For over two hours I was able to hold Sedinam close to my chest and overall she did amazing. This was the first time she had been held like this also.

“I have been smiling all day!”

Vargas’ fiance, Army Lt. Godwin Adabla Tsikata, also got to hold their daughter, The Tennessean reported.

Sedinam is expected to remain in neonatal intensive care for at least another month, the newspaper reported.

The infant was born three months early because of a condition called intrauterine growth restriction, her doctors said. The condition refers to the poor growth of a baby while in the mother’s womb during pregnancy, according to Medline Plus.

Vargas and Tsikata asked family and friends to email their baby at lovelettersforSedinam@gmail.com.

Vargas said the response has numbered in the hundreds, The Tennessean reported.

Many are from adults who were born prematurely, Vargas told the newspaper, including one from a Virginia Tech sociology professor that arrived with the subject line, “from one preemie to another.”

“You won’t remember your time spent in the NICU as you grow stronger and stronger each day, and that is a gift,” Professor Letisha Brown wrote. “When you grow, your parents may share some of what they felt with you and that too will be a gift. For us little, little ones, there are always questions and opinions but all I want you to know little Sedinam is that you are loved.”

Kathy Cash-Tittle, one of legendary country music legend Johnny Cash’s daughters, also sent a note.

“You’re a tiny miracle with a beautiful family and great future ahead. You’re loved very much,” Cash-Tittle wrote. “You’re a strong little fighter, which tells me you’ll be a strong and confident woman one day. I send much love to you, your parents, your brother and all that love you.”

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