First, thanks to all for your thoughtful expressions of care and concern. We are already amazed at the number of people who are pulling for us. Mom and Baby are doing very well.
Much to her surprise, Natalie's water broke at 2:oo AM Tuesday morning and she was rushed to Overland Park Regional Hospital where she was greeted by wonderful, competent staff. After a potent drug to hold off contractions, some steroids to help develop Baby's lungs and blood vessels in the brain, some antibiotics to stave off any infection, oxygen, and some good ol' laying down with the feet up, Baby's heart rate stabilized to well within normal range and has continued to stay there. In fact, it's the higher range of normal, which means she knows she's got to kick her little development into gear to get ready for an earlier-than-planned arrival. Natalie has not had any contractions yet, which is a very promising sign. As long as the body doesn't go into labor and no infections develop (which is the highest risk accompanying an early water break), we can keep her pregnant for a while longer.
Matt, who was in New York on a business trip for the ordeal, was able to join Natalie on Tuesday afternoon. Natalie's mom will arrive today (Wednesday) so things should be pretty well taken care of on the home front. Again, thanks to all for your overwhelming offers of service.
For those who are curious, here's the "stats" I've been given for preemie girls born at:
- 24 weeks (currently 24 weeks and 2 days as of today)--50/50 survival rate, 2/3 who survive have long-term complications
- 26 weeks--80/20 survival rate, much less chance of complications
- 28 weeks--90% survive with NO long-term complications
As you can see, every day we can keep this little girl in Natalie's incubator instead of the NICU's incubator is as good as gold for her chances. Here's Natalie's chances for remaining pregnant:
- 50% of babies are born in first week after water breaking
- 50% of remaining are born the second week after
- 50% of remaining are born the third and so on.
- So basically, it's our goal to be in the 7% who hold out to the fourth week, and even longer would be better.
That means Natalie will be laying in a bed for a while, but her spirits are up and all signs are promising. She's had zero contractions, her cervix is still at zero, and as mentioned before, the baby's heart rate is pleasantly surprising even the staff. Natalie has a great feeling of peace and calm and is confident everything will turn out exactly as the Lord intends.
Thanks for your prayers and love. We are lucky to have such good family and so many good friends from work, church, and life. We love you all in return.
Matt and Natalie