March 17, 2009

24 Weeks…

Littlebit and I are outside. She’s climbed on top of the red Radio Flyer tricycle and pedals unevenly aroun d the back deck She doesn’t get anywhere fast, but she tries. She can’t climb up on to the seat. She has to climb onto the back and then up. Her sister was quite a bit older before she could pedal so well. Littlebit doesn’t talk much, so seeing her meet a milestone like this so much earlier than expected is a little bit of proof that she’s working on things other than her speech.

Today, Baby Bee has hit 24 weeks gestation. If she was born today, she would have a fighting chance of surviving and maybe being okay. I waited with baited breath for this week with both of her sisters (though with the Princess I think I relaxed at 26 weeks as technology wasn’t as advanced back in the dark ages of the nineteens*)

About two years ago, I was stumbling around the Internet and I found the blog The Preemie Experiment
I remember reading it with my mouth gaping open. You see, I was under the very false impression that micro preemies (premature babies born at the very edge of viability) struggled, caught up and moved on. I was very, very, very wrong. In truth, they suffer from a host of medical problems, from sensory disorders to eating problems. Vision and hearing issues and nerve damage plauge them. The happy ending we all assume they have, is convoluted and cloudy.

On my birth board, mothers are starting to rejoice at this point of gestation Our babies have reach viability. What few of us actually know, is that viability comes with a great cost. And, I admit my experience isn’t even first hand. It’s from reading blogs, like The Preemie Experiment and Micro Mom that have opened my eyes to not exactly heralding the arrival of 24 weeks. Things, might not be okay. Even if your baby beats the odds and leaves the NICU.

*The princess refers to the 1900’s as “the nineteens”. This, to her, is ancient history.

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One comment on “24 Weeks…

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    So true, you do feel a sense of relaxation after that 24 week mark, but yes, I have a student who gave birth to one of her children somewhere around 20 weeks. That child is now over 3 years old and they still have to go to nicu follow up visits… and yes, there are many health issues… I am thankfully just past my 24 week mark :) but yes, would never want to actually test that viability issue.

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