Giving birth prematurely can be a scary thing. Although not all premature babies are born with health complications, those who are face problems that affect the entire body, including breathing, blood flow, brain function, immune system development, as well as many chronic conditions, according to Mayo Clinic.
That's why Brad and Lin Mitchell were hopeful but not totally confident that their daughter Lillian, who was born six weeks premature, would be OK. Uncertain about his daughter's future and wanting to hold onto every moment with her that he could, Brad began filming 10 or so short videos of her every day, TODAY reports.
As Lillian's condition improved, Brad continued capturing videos and sifting through clips to find the ones he felt were most representative of each of her days. Then, about one month before Lillian's birthday, he began stitching together a final compilation video. He ended up posting the finished product to YouTube, but he never could have guessed how much attention it would receive.
Brad's video has been viewed more than 94,000 times since he posted it in early September. And it's easy to see why: From the not-so-glamorous scenes filmed in hospital rooms to the amazing moments filled with smiles and laughter later on, the video is incredibly relatable for parents who are familiar with the ups and downs of raising a premature baby.
In fact, Brad told TODAY that the best part about his video unexpectedly going viral was the response that he and Lin received from other parents who had been through similar situations in the past. Brad says the commenters' stories reassure him and his wife that Lillian has a bright future ahead of her — and he hopes that his video, which ends on a cheerful note with a scene from Lillian's first birthday party, can do the same for parents who have just given birth to preemies, as well.
"As you look back, only 30 seconds of the video is being stuck in that hospital, and at the time, it felt just like an eternity," Brad told TODAY. "But now that we look back, we see hundreds and hundreds of other seconds that followed, and it just kind of washes that away."