Eric and Tammy Kose wanted children desperately. But Tammy's lupus made that dream seem unlikely. After a devastating miscarriage, Tammy was thrilled to learn she was pregnant with a little girl. "I was ecstatic and I had a very positive outlook on the pregnancy," Tammy says. "And I think I'm probably the only one that did. Everybody was just so fearful."
After closely monitoring the pregnancy for several weeks, doctors told Eric and Tammy that their baby was in grave danger, and that, though the pregnancy would not be able to go to term, if she were born now her chance of survival was zero percent. The only other option was to try to get Tammy to 27 weeks of pregnancy and then deliver the baby. But even this only offered a less than five percent chance of survival.
Knowing these risks, Tammy and Eric decided to wait as long as possible to allow the baby time to develop. "I prepared myself to give birth to a dead baby," Tammy says. "She was either going to die inside of me and I would still have to give birth, or I was going to be rushed for an emergency delivery."
After making it to 27 weeks, the doctors finally performed a C-section. "She was this little 9-inch thing," Tammy says. "And the first thing I said is, 'Is she alive? Is she breathing?' And the doctor reassured me she was." However, Zoe weighed just 10.8 ounces—smaller than a Barbie doll!—and is the third-smallest baby to survive in the United States and the ninth-smallest baby to survive in the world. Now, nine months later, Zoe weighs eight and a half pounds and is doing great.