KUSA - First birthdays are big events for most children, but for premature babies that first year celebration is different.
Their first year is often a long struggle to survive. One-year-old Harlee Rae Miracle Swingle is celebrating her first birthday on April 1, 2014.
Harlee was born on April 1, 2013 at 25 weeks and weighed only one pound and 11 ounces. Her mother, Ashley Swingle of Fort Lupton, says it was a scary time knowing doctors would have to deliver her baby 15 weeks ahead of full term.
"After she was born, I did not see her for hours. The waiting was just terrifying" Ashley told 9NEWS.
Ashley says it was the struggle to help her daughter live that inspired her to create a mom blog to help other mothers with terrifying "birth days."
Ashley started her blog "MomMob" and found out there are mothers all over Colorado and Wyoming who want to connect and be comforted after a difficult delivery.
Ashley says during the first year she worried most about her daughter's eyesight. Doctors told her it was very possible her baby would be blind but recent tests show Harlee has very good eyesight and is developing good motor and verbal skills.
Doctors still say Harlee is too small. She weighs just 14 pounds and is still wearing 3 to 6 month sized baby clothes. Ashley says Harlee is now cleared to eat just about all foods so she's hopeful her daughter will gain some weight.
The "MomMob" blog is part of Ashley's outreach to help other moms. "We've had several moms that had preemies and some of those tiny ones did not survive. We are here for each other,"she told 9NEWS.
Ashley says she was a rebel teenager and hopes her daughter Harlee will not follow in those footsteps.
Harlee will celebrate her big day with family at a birthday BBQ. "We gave her the middle name "Miracle" because I want other mother's to know little miracles really do happen".
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)