Sunday, January 23, 2011

Deep Breaths

A short while later we were visited by one of the neonatologists. 

I liked her right away.  She was very kind, and she started off by telling us that her own son was born premature and was a patient in this NICU. 

Wow, I thought.  She's been here.  She knows what this experience is like from the parent perspective.

She explained where our babies were developmentally at 28 weeks. 

She went on to tell me what would happen if I were to deliver today. 

They would have a 96% chance of survival.

They won't be able to breathe on their own so they will need assistance from cpap or a ventilator. 

They won't be able to eat.  Their little stomachs are not yet ready to accept food so they will need IV nutrition until we can start them on a priming schedule.

They won't be able to maintain their temperatures so they will live in a heated, humidified environment until they can.

Wow.  Okay.

I had a lot of questions.

Will we be able to hold them?

Eventually.  Probably not right away.

Will I ever be able to nurse them?

In time you can try.

When will they be able to come home?

Probably around their due date or a few weeks before.  A common misconception is that they must be five pounds.  Not true.  Simply, they must be able to eat well, maintain their temperature, and pass their car seat test.  We send three pound babies home all the time.

Oh.  Okay.

She explained that preemies grow slower because of all the outside stresses on their little bodies.  Not only do they have to continue to grow just like any unborn baby at their gestation, but they also have to learn to breathe, eat, and do all sorts of other things they wouldn't otherwise have to do for a couple more months.

She gave us a lot of good information, and it was important for us to hear it. 

But it was so overwhelming. 

I started to cry.  She knew I was losing it, and she tried to reassure me. 

28 weekers make it all the time.  They have a very high survival rate.  And you know what?  Every day, even every hour they stay inside the womb, they have that much better of a chance.  They are developing at a very rapid rate right now, and every minute makes a difference.  Just while we've been sitting here talking, each of those babies has developed hundreds of alveoli in the bronchioles of each lung. 

I wiped my tears.

Deep breath.

God is in control. 

I am not in control.

Deep breath.

Thank God that God is in control. 

Because I don't think I can do this.


  1. What they can do today with medicine and technology is truly an awesome thing. You'll certainly be in our thoughts and prayers.