Big news for J.R. Smith and his family ... their micro-preemie baby Dakota is thiiiis close to crossing the 3-pound mark and her breathing tube is out!
As we previously reported, Smith's wife, Jewel, gave birth to "Kota Bear" in early January almost 5 months before her due date. Dakota only weighed 1 pound at birth.
But on the 78th day of Kota's NICU stay, Jewel says the nurse gave her the good news -- "She's not intubated anymore."
Jewel says she finally got to hold Kota without the nurses having to carefully secure the breathing tubes -- a sometimes lengthy and restrictive process.
"I was beyond excited to hold our 2 lb 13 oz miracle in the palm of my hands for the very first time."
She added, "What some mothers get to experience within the first 2 minutes of giving birth I had to wait 78 days but, what I will say is it was worth the wait because those very feelings, emotions and joy that took over my body trumps it all."
"I kissed her little cheeks, smelled her neck, gazed into her eyes and just smiled at life...this life...her life that has now become our life! To God Be The Glory...I thank you."