New year, new baby: First Waco baby born in 2019 fighting strong after being born premature

Posted: 6:12 PM, Jan 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-07 06:11:31-05

La'Zayuria Peel, born only 2 pounds 10 ounces and the first baby born in Waco on New Year's Day at Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest hospital. 

Delivered 13 weeks too early, little baby La'Zayuria is now healthy but still fighting each day as a premature baby.

"She just had to have all eyes on her, I guess." Mom, Evette Peel said. 

This isn't Peel's first time experiencing a premature birth, her oldest daughter was also delivered early. 

"I knew what I had to do to make sure she stays in and make sure that both of us was safe," Peel said.  

Although familiar with the experience, it doesn't stop Peel from being scared about the future. 

"It was scary, it was scary because I didn't want anything to happen to her," Peel said.

 All newborns need around the care, and with the dedicated hospital staff and advanced technology, according to officials, there are more successful preemie births than in years past. 

"Premature births have become more and more common and we've been able to keep younger and younger babies alive." Cherri Ward, neonatal nurse practitioner for Baylor Scott and White said.

Ward stresses that staff has to be available when things go wrong. La'Zayuria has been a great patient according to Ward and wonderful to be around and take care of. 

Some have called her a fighter. 

Peel has undying gratitude for hospital staff but also one person in particular. 

"The reason why she's here is because of God," Peel said. "God gave her to me. God kept her safe and that's the only hope that I kept the whole 3 weeks that's all I had." 

She finds it hard to see little La'Zayuria hooked up to the many wires and tubes, she knows she's getting the care needed but hopes she isn't in pain. 

"I can't stand to leave, I hate going home without her," Peel said. 

Peel has one piece of advice for other parents going through what she is. 

"Just have hope, just pray," Peel said. "It's all in God's hands, love your baby and your baby is going to be home soon."  

La'Zayuria will spend another 10 to 12 weeks at the NICU. 

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