The grand week has arrived. Indulge me while I tell you why I'm so excited for this milestone:
Below are the four MAJOR risks of Prematurity (click to enlarge). These are the risks that are most often life-threatening, so I didn't include things like infections, blindness, deafness, etc. To the acronymnally challenged, BPD = lung problems, IVH = bleeding on the brain, NEC = rotting gut, PDA = heart trouble:
I added the column for "emotionally safe" because this is when the risks of major, long-term complications of all these risks go WAY down. The babies may still get them, but not as badly as the micro preemies (under 28 weeks). The column for "statistically safe" means the risk has altogether disappeared as a result of prematurity alone.
Although that is the "math," here is the reality:
--BPD: even though the problem doesn't completely disappear until 34, 32 weekers rarely need the ventilator. If they do, it's usually only for a couple days (Brynn was on it for 2 months). Yes, they may need C-PAP or a cannula, but the lungs will be fine overall.
--IVH: The NICU stops doing routine MRIs (checking for head bleeds) after 32 weeks because they are so rare.
--NEC: only occurs past 32 weeks if baby has been deprived of oxygen due to pregnancy or delivery problems.
--PDA: although it can occur even in a full-term infant, it's not going to cause major problems or require surgery as a result of prematurity if the babies are over 32 weeks.
And even though it's not on the table above, the NICU stops routine eye exams at 32 weeks as well. So ROP isn't a problem, either.
Can you see why I'm so ecstatic?
Aside from being excited that I have officially reached 32 weeks, here's another couple reasons I'm excited:
1) I was taken off Procardia a few days ago because my blood pressure got dangerously low and I was getting pretty sick. Everyone was nervous I'd have the baby because even while on the Procardia, I was having stronger and more frequent contractions with each passing day. But, oddly enough, all the contractions stopped as soon as I was off the Procardia. I only have a few here and there and they are much lighter.
2) Doctors and nurses are starting to think I could actually make it full term now--especially since contractions slowed so much after being off Procardia. Maybe not, but once I get to somewhere between 32-34 weeks, the pelvis plus the size of the baby's head do more to hold the baby in than the cervix does. Wouldn't that be weird if I got that far??? If Heidi didn't need a NICU stay at all??? It really seems quite unfathomable to me, but I guess you never can tell . . .
3) Last, but not least, I have an adorable pregnant belly (if I do say so myself) that is impossible to photograph and always looks bigger in real life than on the camera:
Noah's 5th Birthday
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