Avia Hennessey weighs less than 5 pounds, but she’s already got a big personality.
She always manages to wriggle her arms free of her blankets, no matter how carefully the nurses swaddle her. She tugs on her oxygen tube, deciding it would make a better pacifier.
And sometimes, she looks up at the tiny camera above her temperature-controlled isolette in South Shore Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit and seems to smile as if she knows her parents are keeping an eye on her.
“She makes all kinds of faces at us,” Avia’s mother, Lynn Earl, 22, said with a laugh. “She’s definitely feisty. She keeps herself amused and she keeps the nurses busy.”
The camera perched over Avia, who was born about 15 weeks early on Feb. 1, allows Earl and her boyfriend, Ryan Hennessey, both of Weymouth, to check in on their baby even when they can’t make it to the hospital. It’s part of a new program the hospital is launching to help parents of babies born prematurely to stay connected while infants remain in the hospital for weeks or even months after birth.