Preemie Baby Born To Preemie Parents In Same Provo Hospital

Feb 21, 2019, 4:45 PM | Updated: 5:35 pm

PROVO, Utah — Little Wendy Bird was born six weeks ago, but she wasn’t due until March 6.

“The nurse came in and she said, ‘How close is your husband to us?'” Candace Bird explained.

“I get a call saying, ‘Hey get over here, we’re having a baby,'” her husband, JT Bird, said. Within 30 minutes, Wendy Bird arrived. As a preemie, she only weighed 2 pounds 12 ounces, which wasn’t unfamiliar for her parents.

“She was almost exactly like me. She was two months early,” Candace Bird explained.

Like mother, like father, and like daughter, all three were born prematurely and cared for in the same NICU at Utah Valley Hospital by the same doctor.

JT and Candace Bird spent about five weeks in the NICU with their daughter.

JT and Candace Bird spent about five weeks in the NICU with their daughter.

Intermountain Healthcare’s Dr. Stephen Minton, the chief of neonatology at Utah Valley Hospital, has watched over more than 34,000 babies over the last 40 years when he opened the nursery in 1979.

Candace Bird was diagnosed with preeclampsia and was going into liver and kidney failure. Her obstetrician decided to take the baby early to protect Candace’s health. After a high-risk pregnancy and intense delivery, the Birds are grateful to have Wendy in their arms.

Candace Bird said the first time she saw her daughter’s face after the nurses removed all the tubes was amazing. “The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” she said.

Some might call their story a coincidence, but Minton said there’s more to it.

“We have more information that this is a genetic disease,” he said. “If a mother has a preterm baby, they are much more likely to have another preterm baby.”

Dr. Stephen Minton cared for both Candace and JT Bird and their new baby, Wendy Bird, who was also born prematurely.

Dr. Stephen Minton cared for both Candace and JT Bird and their new baby, Wendy Bird, who was also born prematurely.

Minton also said that if the family has a history of preterm labor, “then the girls are more likely to have preterm babies, and their daughters are more likely to have preterm babies.”

However, Minton explained 50 percent of the time, doctors have no idea why a baby was delivered preterm. He said it’s challenging to fix a problem, “if you’re not sure what the cause of the issue really is.”

But Minton said technology has helped the medical community make significant progress in delivering “babies who used to die inside moms before viability,” and in delivering early preterm babies as late-term or term babies.

Additionally, Minton referenced a recent landmark project published by 23andMe and researchers around the world identifying six genes that have an increased incidence of causing mothers to deliver preterm. Minton said he hopes this allows medical professionals to start preventing preterm labor.

While genetics is likely the reason Wendy Bird came early, Minton said there are other contributing factors you can control like a healthy diet and regular exercise. “Especially when you’re taking care of two — you and the baby. They’re really, really important issues,” he emphasized.

For now, the Birds are enjoying time with their little baby girl at home.

“It’s life-changing,” JT Bird said. “It was probably the coolest thing in my life,” Candace Bird added.

Minton also encourages pregnant mothers to stay on top of infections which could induce early labor. He said very young women and older women, and mothers to multiples are more likely to give birth prematurely.

Wendy Bird was born two months before her expected due date on March 6. JT Bird wraps up his daughter in a blanket. Candace Bird rocks her new born baby.
Source - Candace and JT Bird
Candace Bird was also born prematurely at Utah Valley Hospital 27 years ago in January. JT and Candace Bird spent about five weeks in the NICU with their daughter. Dr. Stephen Minton cared for both Candace and JT Bird and their new baby, Wendy Bird, who was also born prematurely. JT Bird was also born prematurely at Utah Valley Hospital.
Source - KSL TV/ Candace and JT Bird
More than 15 million babies are born prematurely throughout the world each year.
KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Your Life Your Health

Mike Hayes says he noticed changes when he started intermittent fasting...
Ayanna Likens

The health benefits of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular and health experts say there are some benefits to it.
23 hours ago
Marrianne Peterson is now cancer free...
Ayanna Likens

Woman pleads for Utahns to get HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and approximately 14,000 women in the US are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year.
8 days ago
(Duke Speer)...
Ayanna Likens

How blood donations saved a Utah man’s life

Blood donation saves lives, like that of 67-year-old Duke Speer in 2021.
15 days ago
A exercise physiologist preforming one of the test's to measure breathing. (KSL-TV)...
Ayanna Likens

A health assessment could help you reach your health goals

With half of Americans looking to improve their exercise routine, Intermountain Healthcare is offering a health assessment to get a personalized plan to help you reach your goals.
21 days ago
Marc Callister lost 70 pounds...
Ayanna Likens and Cary J. Schwanitz

How to set healthy goals for the new year

With the new year around corner, setting healthy new year’s goals is top of mind for some people. 
29 days ago
Ayanna Likens

A shared cancer journey with provider and patient

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be scary, but having a support system can help you through it. One teenage girl created an unexpected close bond with her medical provider after her diagnosis.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Preemie Baby Born To Preemie Parents In Same Provo Hospital