24 week girl preemie

I have a 24 week (gestational age) girl preemie in the NICU right now. Her name is Hannah. I was put on bed rest at 7 weeks, as I had a 28 week preemie girl, Haley, born in 2010. I had preclampsia with both pregnancies and started to show neurological signs of a stroke and many other complications with both. However, I became very ill with this pregnancy a lot earlier and more quickly. Additionally, with this 2nd pregnancy, Hannah who was born on June 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm, my placenta separated as soon as I received my epidural. This did not happen with my first 28 week preemie, Haley. I was not given steroid shots for Hannah's lung development until the night before I delivered her. Therefore, the steroids were not very effective as they were with my first daughter Haley. Hannah's journey so far has been very rough. She is very sick but finally out of extreme "critical" condition. I have to say she is such a fighter and really strong. The doctor's thought she may have pneumonia and NEC but did not end up having either. Of course, she is not in the clear with a possibility of still developing both pneumonia or NEC. We just pray she does not get either and she is receiving xrays and ultrasounds around the clock as preventative measures. Outside of extreme respiratory struggles, she has only had one infection in her PIC line and since it has cleared up and she has a new PIC line in now. She has 2 really bad wounds from IV's and has some renal issues. She has been NPO (without feeds) on and off but when she does get my breast milk she tolerates it great...her feeding restrictions have been caused from the infection and respiratory and renal problems. They tried putting her on a C-pap for the 3rd time tonight and she only lasted 6 hours before she had to get reintubated and put back on the vent. She is on very low ventilator settings and requires about 30% oxygen. She is off of the oscillator vent, finally!! I'm sure like many mom's I struggle with guilt of her having to be delivered early. It's awkward saying this, but knowing my placenta separated and that if I wasn't at the hospital prepped for delivery I could have lost Hannah's life or my own life; this factor gives a little relief that Hannah arriving early was all apart of God's divine plan. I am out here sharing my story with you, hoping to hear your story in return and gather support for this unbearable journey. I love Hannah and just continue to pray for her survival. If you have experience, when do you think 24 week female babies are in the clear for survival? I just hope now that she is about to hit 28 weeks (gestational age) she is at a larger % of survival. Although, I am very faithful in Christianity, I also have a tendency to want to know statistically her chances for coming home and when. The doctor's cannot answer this for me. As I just had a 28 week preemie last year, this journey is much different with a 24 weeker. Hannah (24 weeker) is much more critical than Haley (28 weeker) ever was. The only positive difference is pumping and my milk production is so much better this time around than it was last year. I am producing large quantities of milk and I am much more successful at the pumping!! :) If you can relate to my story or have any comments, please share. Sending you many blessings. Ashley

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I will be praying for you I know its difficult to have a preemie especially at the early stage like this but GOd is always a Faithful GOD he performed miracles with my both boys 27weeker it was very traumatic as he needed a lot of assistance with breathing & 29 weeker it wasn't that bad but I must say its not a nice experience..believe in Him your girl will go home healthly.Good Luck

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Thank you so much for the encouragement!! God bless you and your family!

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first of all, congratulations on the birth of your sweet hannah!

i know how incredibly difficult the nicu is (we all do). our twin girls are 25 weekers... we, too, got the steroid shots the day before delivery, but, because of baby a's umbilical cord (it fell off at delivery and she had reverse flow), she did not receive any of the benefits. baby a was born at 1 lb 7oz and was 12" long, and baby b was born at 1 lb 15oz and was 13" long. baby a had chronic lung disease, and was sicker than her sister. she had to have 2 blood transfusions, a few sepsis workups, the vent for *only* 3 weeks, steroids to get her off of the vent, slight grade 1 ivh, reflux... but she is doing phenomenally now! when we were in the nicu, there was a 23 week little boy born, and he was on the oscillator vent the entire time that we were there (3 months). word is that he has been discharged and is doing great! also, statistically, girls tend to do better than boys- so sweet hannah has that on her side :-)

your family will be in our thoughts <3

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Congrats on your second miracle. My daughter Vivian was born at 24 weeks and we had NEC scares and she actually had pneumonia for a short time it cleared very quickly with her. I was not given any steroids before she was born so we also have sever BPD we are dealing with. She has been home for almost 3 weeks now on 1/4 liter of supplemental O2. Vivian also had pretty sever ROP. You can ready our journey on caring bridge although reading through it after the fact, knowing what I know now, it sounds so naive. I learned more on her discharge papers then anyone ever told me, I guess I am grateful for that though because some of it I would not have wanted to know at the time. There is a link to my caring bridge page and facebook album of photos on my profile page here. Feel free to friend request me as I know how nice it is to have "friends" who have been there.

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Re: "when do you think 24 week female babies are in the clear for survival? I just hope now that she is about to hit 28 weeks (gestational age) she is at a larger % of survival. Although, I am very faithful in Christianity, I also have a tendency to want to know statistically her chances for coming home and when."

Tough question, it really depends on many different factors and each baby and every baby is different. That being said, attached below is a good article written by one of our members! Within that article is a link (also included below) to the NICHD Neonatal Research Network (NRN):Extremely Preterm Birth Outcome Data that provides a range of possible outcomes based on specific characteristics.

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/org/cdbpm/pp/prog_epbo/epbo_case.cfm

Disclaimer from the tool:
These data are not intended to be predictive of individual outcomes. Instead, the data provide a range of possible outcomes based on specific characteristics. Researchers conducted their analysis at level III NICUs, specialized facilities offering medical care for newborn infants. The statistics may not apply to infants born at lower level NICU facilities. Please note that these data provide only possible outcomes, and that the estimates apply only at birth. It is also important to note that outcomes change over time and that they differ for a variety of reasons, including NICU features, patient population, obstetric complications and care, and care after discharge home.

If you choose to use these data to determine possible outcomes, please remember that the information provided is not intended to be the sole basis for care decisions, nor is it intended to be a definitive prediction of outcomes if intensive care is provided. It is important for users to keep in mind that every infant is different, and that factors beyond these standardized assessments may influence infant outcomes.

http://www.preemieprimer.com/predicting-outcomes-for-extremely-premature-ba bies/

To share my experience: my son was born at 24 wks 4 days. He did receive steroid shots, however it was two weeks prior to delivert, not within 7 days. He weighed one pound 12 ounces and spent about 7 weeks on and off the vent, then bounced on and off C pap and nasal canula and finally came home after 102 days in the NICU, a few days shy of his due date. He came home on a small amount of oxygen and came off it within a month. His main complications within the NICU were learning to breathe, a few infections, one spinal tap, and ROP that advanced to stage III and regressed on it's own. My son is now five and is doing well, caught up developmentally and is about to start kindergarten in August. He's currently in speech due to articulation disorder and is being followed by a developmental pediatrician for possible ADHD and by an eye doctor, however he doesn't wear glasses yet and may not ever need them.

I wish you the best of luck!

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God bless you all and thank you for your support, advice and encouragement!!

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I also have two preemies! My first, born at 27 weeks came in april 2010, and my second born at 26 weeks came in march 2011. My son, the 26-weeker, against all odds had a much easier time in the NICU than did my daughter. I cannot relate to your experience exactly, but I can relate to the crazy emotions that come along with having two preemies so close together! It's not easy. I am blessed that my kiddos are developing well and pretty healthy. I will say that my second time around in the NICU was much easier on me. Of course, it helped that he was doing so well. I can't imagine what it must be like to have a 24-weeker. My heart goes out to you! Also, I'm glad to hear you say that you have faith. Never have I experienced a more faith-building time than when in the NICU. I don't understand why our babies are born so early, but I do know that God has a plan for them--regardless of how long they live. And He has a plan for us! My preemies have changed my life. Use this website as a vent and for support! We love you and your family! God bless you. :)

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Congrats on your baby girl! I can understand your fears. I think the most critical time for a baby born so young is the first 48 hours. That's what everyone was told regarding my son Andrew, whom we adopted. He was born at 23 weeks. The first week is the most dangerous time for brain bleeds, though my son's occurred a little after that first week. There are always dangers with preemies, re: infections, lung complications, and sadly, NEC, but every week I am thinking the chances get a little better. 28 weeks is a big milestone to hit, and there will be more. For Andrew, the biggest turning point was coming off the vent the day he hit 34 weeks. Then when he moved onto a cannula a few weeks later. At that point, 37 weeks, his biggest hurdle left was oral feeding, and he did that more smoothly than we could have imagined. We were looking ahead to when he'd be home by then, and worrying about the proper way to feed him and how to diaper, change, and bathe a baby so tiny (for first-time parents), and hoping he'd be off oxygen before coming home (He wasn't). That point, when the fears of survival itself begin to subside, will come for you too, in the coming weeks. It will probably be a gradual thing. I hope Hannah has as smooth a NICU ride as possible left for her.

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Congratulations...my daughter was born 2 1/2 months early due to me having severe preclampsia that set in very fast. The doctors were able to give me the steroid shots before all the fluid rushed into my lungs. Madilynn was 1.11lbs and 12 1/4in long. I remember the days I spent in NICU, actually the two months. It was so scary and the unknown killed me. Madilynn had blood transfusions, problems tolerating feedings, the cartilage in her nose was broken down because of the oxygen, and was feistier than ever. Madilynn certainly impressed the doctors and showed them to never give up. Everyday my husband and I were up in NICU reading the doctors notes, asking tons of questions, and making sure she knew we were there. It was touch and go for awhile, but she pulled through. Madilynn came home two weeks before her due date and with no machines. Today, Madilynn will be a year old on Monday, full of personality, and continues to amaze me. I will never forget the time we spent in NICU. We prayed everyday for our little girl and knew she was placed on this earth to do great things. Keep your head up. Preemies are known to overcome obstacles no one thought they could.

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