Preemie Baby Gives Mom 'Bonus Smiles' When Bathed

A doting mom has shared a sweet video of her preemie baby giving her "bonus smiles" as he enjoys a bath after finally coming home from the NICU. Mom Rachel Dommermuth, 33, from New Fairfield, Connecticut, sees every smile before her premature son’s due date as a bonus – a sentiment that resonated with tens of millions of people on social media. While pregnant, Rachel was diagnosed complete placenta previa, a potentially life-threatening condition for both mother and baby. She said doctors described the diagnosis as a "ticking time bomb," and after a couple of complications and hospital visits, doctors declared it was unsafe for Rachel to stay at home. Having been admitted to hospital on August 14, Rachel was later forced to give birth by an emergency cesarean on September 2, when she discovered she was welcoming a baby boy into the family. Thomas James Dommermuth III – known as Tommy – was born at 32 and a half weeks, weighing just four pounds and nine ounces. Because of the complications in Tommy's birth, he was instantly brought to the NICU, where Rachel observed him in glass crib with teary eyes. Having spent 28 days in the NICU, Tommy was eventually able to head to his family’s home, where he was able to enjoy hot baths with his mom. On one occasion, on October 20, Rachel took out her phone and recorded Tommy as warm water was poured over his head and a smile rose across his face from ear to ear. Rachel dubbed these smiles "bonus smiles,"given she was able to witness them before what would have been Tommy’s due date.
Release Status:
TV & Digital
Location: New Fairfields, Connecticut, USA
  • Date Acquired10-30-2023
  • Date Filmed10-20-2023
  • OrientationVertical
  • Footage TypeCell Phone
  • Rights TV & Digital, Commercial, Publishing

Preemie Baby Gives Mom 'Bonus Smiles' When Bathed


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