While most doctors and hospitals consider 24 weeks gestation viability, many micro preemies are surviving and thriving after being born even earlier. 21 weeks, 4 days is the exact gestation of the baby you’ll meet today.
The word miracle definitely comes to mind, as does the word RockStar.
In fact, her mom, Courtney, writes a blog called Hope Faith & Rockstars inspired by this amazing girl who was born at just 21 weeks.
I’m so honored to be able to share their story, as I share Courtney’s passion for spreading awareness and hope for all our preemie families.
1.Tell us about your baby.
My Daughter was born at 21 weeks and 4 days weighing just 410 grams or 14.4 oz. She was 10 1/4 inches long.
2. How long was your NICU stay? What was the hardest part?
She was in the NICU for 162 days, and we came home just 3 days before her actual due date. That in itself was a miracle, as we were told that most likely we would be there for at least another month or two.
She was on the ventilator for 7 weeks and came home on oxygen. Also, she had Stage 3 with Plus Disease ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity). Which she received shots of a drug called Avastin in both eyes instead of the regular Laser Procedure. Her doctors said if we intubate her again she may never come off. The Avastin was a gamble in a way, but almost 4 years later her sight is still good, and there is no signs of ROP today.
3.Do you know what caused your premature birth?
At my 20 week ultrasound, my doctor noticed my cervix was thinning and upon further examination he noticed I was dilated at a 2.
He then sent me to the Hospital for bed rest and to be monitored. I was in the hospital for 2 nights when he sent me home to continue my bed rest.
Well, 3 days later, I was back at the hospital due to heavy bleeding. I was in the hospital 3 more nights when she came.
We were very blessed that my OBGYN was on call that night and with the Neonatologist on call. Some hospitals have policy in place to not resuscitate younger than 23 or 24 weeks, as most believe any younger the survival rate is 0.
Well, I am here to tell you they are Wrong.
My daughter was born at 21 weeks and 4 days and at almost 4 years, has no disabilities and is happy and healthy.
4.How are you and your baby doing now?
As I stated above, we feel Very Blessed to be given this Miracle Baby. It is not lost on me the true Blessing that she is. I know not all families have the same outcome or are given the same chance we were. That is why I started my blog www.hopefaithandrockstars.com and why I try to give Support, Strength and Hope to other families.
5. What advice would you give to a new preemie or NICU family?
My advice would be to document this time in your life, whether it be by writing/journaling and/or taking pictures. I did journal and share with family members daily, but I didn’t take enough pictures.
When you’re in this journey, it can be incredibly hard to remember everything, so documenting daily activities can really benefit you now and later.
Thank you again to Courtney for sharing her amazing daughter with us. Please make sure leave any supportive comments or questions below, and also to visit her blog.