Friday, February 12, 2010

23 weeks

Today I am 23 weeks into this pregnancy. I know people talk about viability at this gestational age. I looked online and found that the survival rate for babies born this early is 17%. I was 21 weeks and 1 day into my pregnancy with Sophia & Ellie & and I often wonder why my body couldn't hold on for just 13 more days. I also read online that the earliest baby ever to survive was 21 weeks and 6 days and this baby is said to have been a "miracle." Well I do think of my girls as miracles and would have loved for them to have had a fighting chance at survival. I constantly think about if I just would have stayed off my feet...if I would have laid down...if I wouldn't have gone shopping. If I had done these things differently would they have held on until their chances were 17%? Would they have beat the odds and survived months in the NICU and all the challenges and obstacles that go along with a baby being born too soon? Would they be here in my arms today ? I wish I had these answers, but then again, maybe I don't because if I had had the power to make things different, but didn't know it, I think it would eat away at me.

I know having a micro-preemie is very stressful and comes with its own set of grief and sadness...I am not trying to say it doesn't. I know from reading Catherine's blog and others out there that it is a very, very long and difficult road to travel. I was talking to a mom of a 23 weeker the other day. Emma and this boy, "M" who is now 4, went to preschool together. We talked about how hard it was for M and how hard it was for her to have him in the NICU. M is now a completely normal 4 year old who you would NEVER know was against such odds. I am so very happy he is here with his family, but it breaks my heart to know that my girls were almost there...they could have been part of that very, very special 17%.

And just so you know I am not all doom & gloom, look what I made for my sweet Valentine Girl today:


  1. I wish they had been part of that special 17% too. I wish you didn't have to think about all the "what ifs" and I hope you find peace in your heart. Sending you lots and lots of love, Sarah xxx

  2. What's strange is that when I was pregnant with Dylan, the word "viability" wasn't even on my innocent, little pregnant radar. When we got pregnant after losing Dylan and we made it to 24 weeks, I was secretly celebrating making it to viability. When I think about things like that, I realized that everything in our lives is changed since losing Dylan, especially subsequent prenancies.

    Hugs and prayers to you! Kat @ In Dylan's Memory

  3. oh, hard to hear about a 23 weeker who is perfect today. my boys at 23 1/2 weeks *still* didn't survive and everyday i wonder why...thinking of you as you go through these next weeks knowing how important they are!


  4. Well Tina, as you know 23 weeks is very special to me as it is the most pregnant I have ever been. Having a 23 week micro-preemie yes, it's not an easy road to travel. Not one that I would wish on anybody. But I've been down that other road too. That other road where there is no hope, no chance.

    I can't imagine how difficult it is to expect two, carry two and mourn two. Your beautiful little girls, Ellie & Sophia are miracles. I wish they had been given a chance too. I wish you and your girls could have had the extra days.

    17% is such a hard, hard figure, one that divided my twins in two. But I was so lucky. So very, very lucky. I can't believe it still really, when I look at my J and remember the tiny, tiny person she once was.

    Hang on in there little one. Until as close to term as you can.

    Devon, I'm so terribly sorry. I read your blog about your sweet boys, B and E, but I don't comment often because I can't summon up the right words.

  5. Oh, Tina - wow. I hate that "viability" is even a question - that we have to worry about these things. I'm thinking of you as you progress through the coming weeks and months.

  6. All we can do is pray - pray to whoever or whatever takes away some babies and lets others live....please let us have babies too - healthy babies that live healthy long lives. Hugssssssss. Emma's valentine day gift is gorgeous.

  7. I wish your girls and my babies were in that 17%. I always thought that once we were in the second trimester everything would be fine. I now know different. LOVE the necklace you made for your sweet Valentine girl.


  8. I've just hit 22 weeks- the gestation that put me into the hospital with Ella. She was born at 23.3 weeks. I am so eager to get passed that point. You are going to have many more weeks of pregnancy, Tina. I know it! Emma's necklace is beautiful! xoxo

  9. What a beautiful necklace!

    I wish your girls were in the 17% too - NICU would be horrid, but the chance of life is worth it. Please know you did cause them to be born early. There are so many things we could look back on and wish we did differently - but reality is - most of it probably would not have made a difference.

    I am happy you are at 23 weeks now :)

  10. Tina, 17%, wow! That's crazy, just crazy.
    Emmas necklace is beautiful.x

  11. Statistics are tough to read, I never feel they are updated or that whoever writes them, knows what they are talking about...try your best not to think they are right, as we did everything we could to keep our babies safe and the outcome was not part of any 'what if'. (hugs) I did not know what viabililty was until I had 24 hours to absorb how no one could help us.
    Emma's necklace is gorgeous, you know I love that heart! Happy 23 weeks, and I pray for your mind and body to feel peace wash over you as you get through this. Love, Nan xo

  12. The necklace is such beautiful!!

    I just hate that in this community we even have to worry about the window of "Viability." It just breaks my heart. Tina thinking of you and your twin girls, but also thinking of your sweet rainbow girl on the way. *hugs*

  13. oh, Tina. Statistics. They swallow us whole. Numbers in general-define us and confine us! Like Catherine, 23 weeks is the most pregnant I've ever been and I kept reading miracle stories to make me think my twins would have a chance. But what makes the difference? I'm not sure. Is it luck? Who knows. I just hate it. I hate that we even have to worry about it.
    You've got a long way to go, miss tina, before this baby tries to make an entrance. I know it!
    Hugs to you,

  14. I am praying for you. I hope that little Emma continues pass the milestones and grow into a beautiful little girl that you can hold forever. I know that the girls are watching over you too.

  15. Tina I hate that you even have to worry about that. It really sucks. I used to be a nurse in the nurseries of a local hospital. We would take care of these sweet little angels everyday. I used to think of all the problems these little ones would have as the grew. I hoped the parents could understand what they could be facing having a baby that early. Since I lost Juan my thoughts have really changed. To have even been give that opportunity to raise my child would have been the most amazing thing for me. I honestly do not care of the trials we would have faced. Is that selfish of me? Maybe, but I still wish I could have had that chance. I am praying for you! If you can't make it to term I will pray that you make it past the 30 week mark. Take care of yourself and know that everything you are feeling is normal and you need to work through this in your own way.

    Good luck,

  16. You have such a talent- and I hope you make it well well well past viability- no nicu- no machines- just a healthy- happy- crying babe for you to hold in your arms!

  17. Tina, stop by my blog when you get a chance, there is a suprise there for you in honor of your angels. Happy Valentines!

  18. Nah, it makes sense.

    I had a comment in my head basically just saying how much I get what you're saying - but after reading all the other comments I'm strangely overwhelmed and can't seem to find the words now :) I think I'm sometimes just amazed at how different our thinking and perspectives are from the rest of the world - how sad it is that we have to know and think about these things. Ah well. . .

    Thinking of you and your little one. Hoping and praying for many more weeks to come.

  19. I wish they could have been too... Hugs...

  20. Ahhh I have missed so much. I was checking in here regularly, and then life got away, and now I realize I missed so much. You are almost to that good safe point, that spot where you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you've made it far enough and then just continue to be thankful for each day.

    I'm so happy for you! I pray that all goes well and in another 15-17 weeks you have a beautiful baby in your arms. There are too many tears now to type...My best to you!

  21. I'm glad you have reached this point and I'm praying for you to go all the way! The necklace you made is beautiful

  22. I read this post and I wanted to send you some comfort and food for thought regarding that imaginary line of viability.

    I know how hard it is to accept that our girls were not the preterm babies that survived. But when i saw you write how you just wish they lived 13 more days I wanted to let you know that 13 days would not have guaranteed anything. My girls were born at 24 weeks 4 day, their survival rate was 50% according to statistics. But what they didn't tell us is that survival is only half the fight. The risks and complications of premature birth are devastating and the babies that survive without problems are absolutely the exception, not the norm. My girls put up a good fight and we were hopeful, but it was just too much for them. They experienced permanent brain damage, severe damage, first and then perforated intestines later, ultimately leading us to remove them from life experience that haunts me to this day. All I am trying to say is that you should not underestimate what your girls were really facing and that I hope you don't carry with you the "if onlys" that are really hypothetical at best. What our girls needed was to go full term. And I don't know why my body failed them. That is my question. I got the thirteen days you wished for and my girls are still gone.

    This post feels very disjointed and I hope that in it you can see that I am only trying to relieve the agony of your what ifs.

    Our girls lived the days ordained for them by their creator...I don't know why but I do know that they were lovingly and purposely created and their lives counted and still count despite the little time they were here. We can make ourselves crazy wondering or even believing that one different circumstance would put our babies back in our arms. We simply don't know.

    My heart is with you friend. I understand your heart. And I hope that some how in this comment I was of help despite it not coming out very eloquently.