The Insley family in
"Absolutely tiny," recalls Joe Insley, whose daughter Lucy was born 3 months early. "She could fit in the palm or your hand."
Joe's wife was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a condition when blood pressure rises during pregnancy.
"The scary thing about it is you have to worry about not only the baby's health, but the mother's health," says Insley.
After an emergency c-section, Lucy was born at 1 lb 15 oz., and 13" long.
"When you first have a baby, you expect to hold them, but with Lucy she went to an incubator," adds Insley.
Lucy is one of the thousands of
premature babies born in the
"The whole situation was an emotional roller coaster," says Insley.
It's a condition that costs the U.S. $26 billion every year.
"Having a healthy baby is expensive enough, but if you're paying ten times more it can be very costly," says Tammy Mast with the Springfield March of Dimes.
Mast says health professionals don't know all the causes of premature births, but she says smoking is a major risk factor.
"It's not just the mother, it's the mother being around smoke," she says.
But for the Insley family, they are just thankful Lucy will be celebrating her first birthday and are hopeful for her future.
"When you're in the NICU, you think it will never end, and you look at this helpless tiny little baby but there's always hope," says Insley.
Each year, March of Dimes grades all