November 14, 2006

23 Weeks

Once again there has been a lag with these posts, mostly due to the excitement of the 23 week mark. On November 13th, Greta began to feel some minor contractions. This was nothing new, in fact we had been to the hospital for something similar a few weeks earlier, but the doctors said it was nothing to worry about. However, Greta was timing them this time and noticed that they were only a few minutes apart. So, that afternoon we went to the hospital just to be safe. The major thing that they look at when examining is cervical length, and if it begins to shorten there is a cause for concern. Up until this point, Greta has always measured 35mm and this was also the case on this trip to the hospital. Again, the doctors figured it was just irritability, sent us home, but told Greta to return in the morning for another examination just to be sure. In addition, Dr. Bryant (our specialist) felt that it was time for Greta to be on bedrest. That morning she measured .25mm which is a pretty dramatic change in length, so they admitted her to the hospital. They gave her medication to stop the contractions which were occurring every 2 or 3 minutes, and gave the babies a steroid to hasten lung development should the deliver. Honestly, this was some pretty scary stuff. A neonatologist came in Greta's room and gave us the hard and cold facts about our odds if the babies were delivered at this stage. Most babies born between 20 and 24 weeks do not survive, and if they do they spend months in the hospital and have a very huge risk of suffering adverse health effects. The next day, the contractions had slowed way down to 3-4 an hour, which was a big relief. Greta stayed in the hospital until Friday afternoon at which point she was sent home on bedrest. We have been incident free so far. At this point, we have to take it one day at a time as each day the babies are in there, the better their chances are.

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