Friday, January 13, 2012

Have you thought about it?

Have you read about preemie babies in the UK? Recently there was an article that called for a board to be established that would determine whether or not a preemie baby had what it takes to survive. And when I say preemie, I'm talking about babies who are born extremely early, as in before 28 weeks. One of the Drs. there said that he didn't like to even try to resuscitate before 24 weeks, but it was up to the parents.

When I read this article, and a few others like it, it broke my heart. If we lived in the UK, my daughters wouldn't of even had the chance to fight for their lives. They were born at 23 weeks and 6 days.

I am not trying to say that every preemie should be kept alive. Sometime, it prolongs the inevitable and they are only put through trials that they don't even have the will to fight. However, I do believe that every baby who has a chance to survive should be given that chance. Who are we to say that they don't deserve to fight for the chance to live, to go home with their parents who love them? Who are we to say their life isn't worth fighting for just because they were born too early?

I am one of the lucky ones. I recognize that every day. There are things only a mother of a preemie goes through. I celebrated when they doubled their birth weight and they were only 2 lbs. I did not have a normal 'preemie in the hospital' experience. This is mainly because my daughter fought the entire time and had very few complications. There are many stories I have read about people who have preemies in the hospital and there are so many more complications that could have happened with my girls but did not.  We were so blessed.

My daughters were born at 1 lb. 5 oz. and 1 lb. 4 oz. I was on hospital bed rest for 9 days before they were born and during that time I was given many drugs to help the babies have a better chance once they were delivered. I was given a shot to help their lungs develop and also magnesium (which is a neurological protector, even though it was given to me to stop labor). It was these drugs that helped my babies be strong enough to survive outside the womb.

It certainly wasn't easy. They were born C-Section and even though they cried when they were born, it was still hours before I got to see them. They were intubated and there were many tubes helping to keep them alive. Those first days were really hard. They had lots of apnea and bradycardic episodes. They were both flown to a different hospital to have a PDA ligation. They were co-bedded after about a month of being in separate incubators. They had weekly eye exams and both had to have laser eye surgery because they developed ROP. There were other minor things that came up, but for the most part they did extremely well in the NICU. They struggled with gaining weight, like any normal preemie. When the time came for them to be ex-tubated, they remained on the Bubble-C pap almost immediately. They continued to come down on their oxygen to the normal C pap, the high flow, then eventually low flow and they came home on very little oxygen. Once home, they were completely off oxygen withint 3 weeks.

These are amazing feats for a micro-preemie. The mere fact that they were off their oxygen in 3 week is amazing. Many preemies born that small are on oxygen for almost a whole year at home.

But what if they weren't allowed to prove to the world what fighters they are? Just because they were born extremely early, should they not have been given the chance to live? Today, they are almost 2 years old. They have a birthday in 2 weeks and 1 day. I am so grateful they are still in my life. They have taught me so much about patience and perseverance.

 My girls are 8 months old. (wearing 3 month clothes)

I understand someones reasons to not try to save their preemie's life. But I do not and will not agree to the fact that babies shouldn't be saved based on when they were born!!! There are some babies who are born on time that have more complications than my 24 week preemies did. Were their parents told that they were going to be given a chance?

What are your thoughts? Should preemies not be given a chance just because they had the misfortune of being born too early? Please tell me your thoughts!

1 pieces of love:

Kristen said...

Hi Samm, I sure like your Blog and I loved this post. I have had two premie babies. Not 1 pounders, but 3 pounders. So much anxiety, fear and FAITH is involved! I just read a great book. You need to read it: "Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU" by Dr. Adam Wolfberg. He addresses your very thoughts. He has great insights as a Doctor and a father of a premie.
I am your newest follower. I hope you will follow me as well:
Take care and love those little ones.

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