Many of you have asked what can be expected if a baby is delivered at a very premature age. We understand your questions because we had them too. Here is what we learned from our visit yesterday with the pediatric NICU staff:
The main problem for little ones is the possibility of major neurological problems. Babies born so prematurely have poor lung function without exception. Once preemies come into the world, an expert team works to get oxygen to their little brains – that becomes the number one immediate goal. Anyway, we now have names for the disabilities that can result, we know what to expect in terms of ventilation and feeding in the early days and weeks, and we are just filing all of this information away as data we hope never to learn of first hand. I’ve already received steroids to boost the baby’s lung capacity and function - a common and important practice when there is any chance of early delivery.
We love this baby girl.
Tedd and I like the surprise of waiting to find out if our children are boys or girls, but we decided to break our tradition and find out this time. You see, so many people have told us that baby girl preemies do better than baby boys and so we were curious. It isn’t just an old wives tale either - boys and girls do develop differently (as do men and women). Interestingly, I was watching The Today Show this morning and there was a segment on just this very thing. So, we were especially thrilled to find out that we have a daughter. Her name is Tabitha Maureen, named after our mothers, and she’s going to be a fighter.
I have decided to pray more specifically today. I am praying that the next 48 hours are without contraction issues and that I can go safely home (on bed-rest, of course) very soon. I am also praying that Tabitha stays inside until at least 28 weeks. (Join me in that prayer, will you?) I am praying with GREAT EXPECTATION. Maybe that’s a bigger difference than the specifics of my prayers. I’ve been praying with great desperation, but now I have great expectation that our baby will join our family in due time – and that she will be whole and healthy.