Most hospitals consider 24 weeks the age of viability. Luckily, as medicine advances, other hospitals are willing to help babies that are born even earlier. I’m so happy to be able to introduce you to a 23 weeker today that has beaten all the odds.
I remember being on bed rest, and having a calendar out in front of me. I marked off the days until I would be 24 weeks. At that point, I would be able to go into the hospital for constant monitoring. Before that point, I was only allowed outpatient ultrasounds to check on my boys.
I am so thankful that my health wasn’t at risk, and that they were able to hang on until 25 weeks, 5 days.
Today’s mother, Brittany, had a completely different situation. She had a normal pregnancy, until all of a sudden she didn’t. Luckily, she was in a place that was able to help her and her beautiful son.
Please meet Jaxson, as told by his mother, Brittany.
1. Tell us about your baby.
August 1, 2015 was supposed to be my wedding day, but instead it was the day my 23 weeker was born. Jaxson was 360 g (13 oz) at birth.
2. How long was your NICU stay? What was the hardest part?
We were in the nicu for 149 days. He came home exactly one month after his due date.
One of the hardest parts of being a NICU mom is not being able to answer “when is he/she coming home”. We would love to be able to give a set date, age, or weight but it just doesn’t work that way. Complications come up and the scheduled day can constantly change.
3.Do you know what caused your premature birth?
I wasn’t feeling well on a Wednesday, but just thought my morning sickness was coming back, and I was getting swollen from the heat.
On Friday morning, I was still super sick, so I decided to go to the hospital. At first, they thought it was my gallbladder, but after more test it was actually my liver. I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome and rushed to a different hospital with an amazing NICU.
After lots of testing, they decided to induce me on Saturday. Jaxson was born at 9:48 pm. The beginning of my pregnancy was completely normal and I had no previous signs of HELLP or other medical conditions.
4.How are you and Jaxson doing now?
Jaxson is 20 months and doing great! He is slowly catching up on all of his milestones. We work with a physical therapist every week, mostly on walking. We see a feeding team once a month because he is having some trouble with weight gain. They monitor his eating habits and suggest high calorie foods/diet for him. He has a follow up on his eyes for ROP every three months (when we first came home it was every month).
Since the NICU, he has had surgery twice on hernias as I mentioned, but no others are needed.
I’m also doing great today. After I had him, my liver and kidneys from HELLP were back to normal in 48 hours, and I was sent home. I have not had any other complications since. I will have to see a MFM (maternal fetal medicine) doctor before and during my next pregnancy. He was my first.
5. What advice would you give to a new preemie family?
Ask every question you have and stay involved in your preemies care. The more you know and the more comfortable you are, the easier transition when you get home. While they’re in the nicu read to them, sing to them, talk to them! They can hear you and it’s a great way to bond.
Thank you so much, Brittany, for sharing your sweet 23 weeker Jaxson with us. He is such a miracle.
Please leave any supportive questions or comments below.
kim airhart says
Love hearing stories like this. I lost my baby at 18.5 weeks and I remember the doctor saying that if my baby was at least 20 weeks they would have had a better chance at saving him. The strength of the preemies and mamas to pull through is amazing.
Shann Eva says
I’m so sorry for your loss Kim. Thank you so much for stopping by.
Beth Kondrick says
Aw what a sweetheart! My friend’s daughter was a 23 weeker too so this story sounds quite familiar! I’m glad to hear he is doing so well now!
Oh, my goodness… he was SO tiny! What a big, beautiful boy he is now! What a scary time this must have been for the parents but thank god they have so many wonderful resources and facilities to help them through this <3
Kristi @ Mi Vida Ocupada says
That is an amazing story!!! What a cute little miracle!
What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing! Jaxon is such a cutie – I’m so happy to hear both mom and him are doing well.
Kirsty Pickering Bott says
Oh my goodness, what a strong little boy you have and what a strong Mummy you must be. This story is awesome! ❤
Oh wow, I’m so glad they were able to care for him being born at such an early stage. Over here, pregnant ladies carry around folders with them from 20 weeks on just incase they go into labour so all their medical history is with them. I’m so happy he is now a happy and healthy little boy 😉
Shann Eva says
Wow. So interesting what they do in other countries. Thank you!
Nardus Mommsen says
I am a Daddy of a 27weeker and she will be 1 year old April 24. She is such a blessing and a busy little girl kicking one milestone after the other. I firmly believe only special people are chosen to meet the angels in the NICU. It’s a place where miracles happen by the minute. She was our first born that we waited 11years. I dont wish this jurney on anybody but I am so thank full for the experience. I for one didnt know anything about preemies before this but now I pray for all babies and families of babies in NICU every day.
Shann Eva says
I love that about special people are chosen to meet the angels in the NICU…and completely agree. Happy early birthday to your sweet miracle!
This is just so amazing! She is so strong! Having a new baby can be stressful. Having a premie adds a new level of stress. He is beautiful!