Premature baby. How early is too early?
July 20, 2008 4:55pm CST
My stepson's girlfriend is expecting their first child, a girl, and she recently developed problems with her vision. After seeing her OBGYN and a specialist it was determined that there is too much pressure to her optic nerves and that this is most likely due to too much weight gain in addition to her already being heavy in the first place. She is having an MRI tomorrow and they have talked about doing a spinal tap to help reduce the pressure but they have also mentioned taking the baby early. She is only in her sixth month this condition can permanently harm her vision or she could lose it altogether. They talked about giving her a pill to reduce the fluid but she's concerned about what that would do to the baby so no decision has been made about that or anything at this time. So, are there any parents of premmies here or anyone with any experience in this area? I have read some things on the web about survival rates and other issues that premature babies have but some real life experience would be helpful. Needless to say we're all very concerned about both the mommy and the baby.
• United States
21 Jul 08
I had a 32 weeker. I started contracting at 29 weeks for no reason. Do you know how many weeks along she is? The reason I ask is that doctors determine pregnancy by weeks and not months (the math doesn't add up if you go by months). A full term pregnancy is anywhere between 35 and 40 weeks. 40 weeks ends up being 10 months (confusing, LOL). Anyways, my doctor told me that I really did not want to deliver at 29 weeks so he put me on limited activity. At 32 weeks my water broke. I was put on medication to stop my contractions so that I could receive the 2 steroid shots needed to mature my baby's lungs. After 2 days infection had set in and I had to be induced. I delivered a 3 lb 14 oz baby girl. She stopped breathing within minutes after delivery and had to be intubated and transferred to a bigger hospital an hour away. With all of the new medical advances and thanks to the March Of Dimes, the survival rate has greatly improved for most preemies including those called micro preemies. However, most preemies face problems. My daughter stopped breathing and spent one month in the NICU. She would have possibly encountered more problems if I had delivered at 29 weeks. Having a preemie is quite an overwhelming experience. I have no understanding of "normal delivery". My prayers and thoughts are with you and you family (including the little one to come).
• United States
20 Jul 08
I had my son at 24 weeks, which was in my sixth month. He had to stay in the hospital from Oct 15th until Jan 2nd. He only weighed 1 pound 13 3/4 oz and was 14 inches long. We were very lucky that he has no lasting problems. He was on oxygen and a heart monitor for the first 8 months of his life, but nothing else. Some preemies aren't so lucky. There can be complications with lungs, brain, and eyes to name a few. I don't know that there's a way to tell before the baby is actually born. I do know I was given steroids to help my sons lungs grow faster. I was in the hospital from Thursday until the next Tuesday and then he was born. So that's how many days of steroids I had. I'm sorry she is going through this. It's very scary having a preemie, and with all her health problems too, she has to be worried sick. I will keep you all in my prayers.