Jennifer Estess' miracle baby is normal weight for a baby who is just a couple days shy of 5 months old.
Jazmyn Estess weighed just two pounds when she was born on Nov. 3, 2004. She was smaller than a beanie baby and was considered a miracle baby. Today, at 10 pounds, baby Jazmyn's weight compares with a baby who had been born on time and not nine weeks premature.
Jazmyn visits the pediatrician every two weeks because she is still considered high risk for the first six months of her life. For the second six months of her life she will be considered at risk. If everything continues to go well, she will be considered normal when her first birthday is celebrated.
According to her grandfather, Jim Estess, last Tuesday the doctor said Jazmyn was right on track and progressing.
"She's starting to gurgle and giggle, smile and talk, reach and grab," he said. "She's thriving and gaining weight. She's trying to roll over. Sometimes, if you reach down to pick her up she reaches up her arms to you. She's becoming curious."
The baby wants to be held so she can see what is going on around her, he said.
Jennifer's first sense that everything was going to be all right came about a month ago when Jazmyn started to smile. Jazmyn smiles for other people now, but the bond between mother and daughter is the strongest. If someone other than her mother is holding her, Jazmyn looks around to make sure her mother is close by.
A particular formula of Enfamil, for premature and low birth-weight babies is all Jazmyn is allowed.
For the first three months Jazmyn drank the soy-based version, now her mother alternates soy with a milk-based version.
Jazmyn had a couple of scary incidents with her breathing. She was on oxygen for three months.
"She started choking once and the fire department was here in like two minutes with a whole team of paramedics," Estess said. "One of the paramedics had pediatric experience. I can't say enough good things about the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department."
"It has been a lot of care and time. Jennifer sleeps with one eye open," Estess said. "She's an excellent mother."
"I thought I would adopt ... I never thought I'd do the whole pregnancy thing. There's nothing better now," Jennifer gushed. "Its amazing. Jazmyn does something new every day."
Jennifer Estess moved to Payson six years ago. She has recently returned with her daughter to Oregon. There, she has the additional support network of friends with children, plus her mother will take care of Jazmyn so she can return to work.
"I was a nervous wreck on the plane but Jazmyn did wonderful. She slept the entire way," Jennifer said.
Jennifer said she wanted to thank Sherry Machemer, Strawberry Elite, Amy von Somogyi, Crossroads Foursquare Church and Jeri Longenbaugh and neighbors specifically for their help and support. She wants the community to know how much she appreciates the care she and her daughter were shown.