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Couple blessed with #039;double miracle#039; baby

Becky and Terry Townsend of Coal Grove had two surprises this year that have changed their lives.

First, they discovered they were going to have a child, second that the baby was coming three months early.

The entire scenario was unlikely since Becky had been told she could not have

children.

"I never dreamed I'd have a little one," Becky said.

The impending birth came as a great surprise to the couple, and doctors, when they discovered she was pregnant last year.

"Oh my, the doctors could not believe it," Becky said. "Three doctors told me it was a miracle."

The couple did not expect their son until May 26, but after Becky had a three-week hospital stay for high blood pressure, doctors decided it was time.

"One day they decided I couldn't take anymore and it was putting too much stress on him so they took him," Becky said.

The doctor induced labor and, 25 weeks into the pregnancy, Adam Joseph Townsend was born, Feb. 21, weighing only 1 lb., 1 oz. and measuring only 12 inches in length. His first diapers were the size of an index card, which still had to be folded to fit him.

"His hand barely fit around the tip of my finger," Becky said.

Adam spent two months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Becky said the family went to the hospital at least once every day except for three days during those two months.

About 8 to 10 percent of all births in the U.S. are premature births, or births that occur less than 37 weeks into the pregnancy, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

A normal pregnancy is 38 to 42 weeks.

Adam was finally brought home April 30 weighing four pounds.

"I sat up all night with him," Becky said. "Even though you have the assurance of the heart monitor, you still worry."

Becky said she was both nervous and relieved that the baby was born.

Two weeks later, though, Adam had to go back to the hospital. The baby had pneumonia.

"That was horrible because he'd been progressing so well and gaining weight then he got pneumonia," Becky said.

Once again Adam returned home and once again he went back with pneumonia two weeks later.

Since then, Adam has been doing well, Becky said. The 5-month-old weighs 10 pounds now, already eating baby food and cereal, and is 21 inches long.

"He's been so good and he seldom cries," Becky said.

She said Adam even sleeps four and a half to five and a half hours every night next to her in bed.

"He's definitely mommy's little boy," Becky said.

Mommy's little boy or not, daddy still looks at his son with joy, though he has little to say.

"We intend on spoiling him," Becky said.

She is not alone. Becky's mother and

grandmother also are helping spoil the "miracle."

"Momma will be the worst," Terry said.

As thankful as they are for their son, they are also grateful for the support they received from friends, family and the rest of the congregation at Zoar Baptist Church.

"We just want to thank everyone for their prayers and being there for us and we'll have him at church as soon as we can," she said.