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These patriotic preemie pics from UCMC will melt your heart

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Posted at 12:17 AM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-05 00:22:17-04

CINCINNATI -- They’re much too fragile to venture into the world of fireworks and cookouts, but premature babies at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center still got a taste of Independence Day festivities Tuesday, according to ABC News.

March of Dimes, an organization dedicated to reducing rates of infant mortality, premature birth and birth defects in the United States, made patriotic tutus and bowties for the infants to wear in the neonatal intensive care unit. 

The pictures of sleeping, chubby-cheeked preemies in their festive attire are heart-meltingly sweet, and the photographer who took them told ABC she had a personal connection to the event. She gave birth to a premature baby in 2009, she said, and understands the stress other preemie parents experience.

"It became clear to me why I am here on earth and that is to serve other families just like ours in the NICU,” Mueller told ABC. "That is why we celebrate every holiday in the NICU, celebrate every milestone and support them through the challenging days."