Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Tribute to Micro Preemies

Isn’t it amazing that there are preemies that survive which are born as early as 23 and 24 weeks?  It’s almost unfathomable to me.  These babies are truly miracle babies.

My first baby was born at 21 weeks and 2 days gestation.  He weighed 12 oz and was 10 1/4 inches long and his heart was beating strong.  (The picture is my baby boy) The hospital staff told us that he was too young to survive and they did not take any measure to save our boy, they simply swaddled him in a blanket and handed him to us so we could hold him while he lived and while he passed away.  At the time, I accepted their judgment and felt peace in my heart while my boy’s spirit lingered with us.  My husband was discouraged, however, that our boy was born alive and they simply left him for dead with no attempts at saving him.

The staff told us that unless a baby was 24-25 weeks along they did not try to save the babies, and at that age they had to try and decide if it was worth rescuing the babies or not because of the difficult journey the baby would have, the possible lifelong problems, and the low chance of survival.

It wasn’t until my husband and I started confiding in our friends about the loss of our tiny preemie that I ever questioned the judgment of the hospital that delivered my boy.  People would tell us about their nieces or nephews that were born around 23 weeks who survived and lived a strong and happy life.  One friend told us that he was born at 21 weeks (however, I tend to doubt his memory).

When I hear survival stories of 23-weekers that were about the size of our 21-weeker I am amazed and inspired.  What a journey they must have endured, and what a trial for the parents who watched their preemie suffer through so much!

I know all preemie babies are miracles; I certainly experienced my own miracles with my 27-weeker and with my full-term baby.  But I am truly in awe of micro preemies that beat all odds against them in their first few weeks of life.

Out of curiosity, I just did a little research about the earliest surviving micro preemie (as of Feb 2007), named Amillia Sonja Taylor, who was born at 21 weeks and 6 days gestation on October 24, 2006.  You can read about it on MSNBC or on Incredible Births.  These articles say she is the only preemie who has survived being born earlier than 23 weeks.  Amazing.

Definition of a Micro Preemie

On www.typeamom.net there’s an article entitled Inspiration from the NICU as Micro Preemies Grow Up that says, “A micropreemie or micro preemie is defined as a baby that is under 1 3/4 pounds (between 700-800 grams) and is generally born before 26 weeks gestation, but most people prefer to loosen this term up to include any baby under 3 pounds (1500 grams) or under 29 weeks gestation.”

I guess my 27-weeker fits in the broader definition of a micro preemie having been 1168 grams at birth.

To all you parents of micro preemies, would you share with us a little about your tiny miracle?

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices. Send a message to Afton.

Comments

  1. Samantha says:

    Roxy was a micropreemie. She was born at 29w1d, but weighed in at only 1 pound, 9 ounces and 14 inches long.

    Almost 8 months later, she is thriving – weighing in around 17 pounds and is 25 inches long! She hasn’t wasted any time trying to catch up with her peers.

    It has truly been a blessing to have her and to watch her grow. She is a daily reminder of how great God is and how awesome miracles are.

    • I was a miracle baby also, I was born in April 1961 at 26 weeks gestation , my mother had to have a emergency ceseran for hemmoraging the doctor gave my father a choice as we were not suppose to live neither of us. My father was stunned I don’t think he answered the doctor at this point specifically, as far as I know he just said save both.So we did survive my mother always said I was a miracle baby , I guess in that year when medical issues were not so advandced I was lucky , I weighed in at a even 3 pounds -11 inches long.So to all the moms of preemies keep the faith with todays technology there should not be a reason for a hospital to try and save a baby no matter how small.
      Hugs to all.
      Mrs. Therese O’Grady
      (Ontario, Canada.)

  2. Samantha was a micropreemie too. She was born at 26 weeks, though, in most of her charts she’s referred to as a 23 week baby. All her organs and development appeared like a baby born at 23 weeks. She weighed 1 lb. (450 grams) and was 11 inches long.

    Today she is 3 1/2 years old and is HEALTHY, and is happy. She’s still on the small side (24 pounds right now) but she is doing wonderful. My true miracle.

  3. My son, Alex, was born at 29 weeks but he was only 2 pounds 2 ounces. He had a difficult start, had a PDA ligation at 3 weeks old, had a hard time learning to eat from the bottle, and had a hard time keeping his temperature up. He came home on oxygen until he was about 9 months old. He just turned 3, and you’d never know he was so tiny! He’s 30 pounds and 37 inches tall. He’s got some developmental delays, but other than that he’s doing great!

  4. Our son Jack was born at 27.6 days gestation but weighed only 1 lb 9 oz, 12.5 inches long due to IUGR (growth restriction) and preeclampsia. He spent 5 months (159 days) in the NICU and had to have exploratory bowel surgery and surgery for ROP. He was on the ventilator for a total of 7 weeks and came home with oxygen and a feeding tube for severe oral aversion.
    Today he is 17 1/2 pounds, 16 months old (13 months corrected). He is doing a great job catching up on milestones, overcame the need for oxygen and learned to eat on his own a few months after coming home!!
    He is truly a miracle boy. There were lots of times we thought he would not make it, but he is a fighter! God is good.

  5. I had a micro preemie..she was born at the end of my 23rd week and weighed 1.5 LBS..she is now 3 and a half yrs old and doing awesome…miracles do happen…

  6. Samantha Adkins says:

    I have a miracle baby boy named Jesse James born at 24weeks 2days.Weighed 1lb7.6ozs 12 1/4inches long had a gread 3 & 4 brain bleed at birth,spent 4 months & 1 day in the nicu over 100 blood transfusions had only a 10%chance of survival .They said he would not live,said he could not eat,and said he would come home on oxygen he came home eating ,with no oxygen & without any monitors !!! He turned 1 January 5th & he is doing great !!! I am sure we are gonna have ups & downs but he is here with me & that is what counts !!!

  7. My twin grandaughters were micro-preemies…..they were born at 6am on 1st day of 25th week and weighed 1lb 6oz & 1lb 7oz. Both had serious issues, but one was not expected to survive a week…..they are both now 3 1/2…..yes, miracles DO happen!!

  8. My micro preemie was born at 23 weeks and weighed 14oz! Michael is now 7 1/2 months old and weighs 11lbs 6.5 oz.! He is doing well, but we are back in the hospital due to chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension. It will get better, I just know it!

  9. My girls were 25 weeks and born at 1lb 15oz. each. (Border Micro Preemies). They are doing well they are 8 weeks old and now at 33 weeks gestation. So they are still in the NICU. Riley (Baby B 3lb 14oz) is off oxygen for the past 3 days and doing well. Lyndsay (Baby A 3lb 11oz) is trying her best she is at room O2 but her flow is 4. And now Riley has a staph infection in her eye!!!! But they are doing incredibly well all things considered.

  10. Melissa says:

    My daughter, Zoe, was born March 12, 2010, at 25 weeks, and 1 lb 6 oz. She is now 4 lb 15 oz, and almost 3 months old. She was on a ventilator for the first 10 weeks of her life, causing severe chronic lung disease. My husband and I have gotten “the call” to rush in because they didn’t think she’d survive about 3 times. But Zoe is a fighter and has stayed with us. Her lungs are still awful, but she is making slow process.

    The NICU brings a roller coaster that nobody can truly explain. I had heard the term “roller coaster” applied to NICU but had no clue until I began going through it.

    After 3 months, it still doesn’t get easier. Zoe is doing well, but it is hard to see other babies doing poorly…especially babies that have been there just as long as we have. It is not easy, and these babies AND their parents need as many prayers as possible.

  11. My son was a Micro preemie…He was born May 1,2009 At 22weeks..He weighed 480 grams…1pound 1ounce..He never had a Brain bleed..Which was a MIRACLE..He did get Rop..Had surgery for it…He was on a vent of course..For his Cld…Had bloodpresure problems…Had good days..and bad days..So much he went through..Needing blood etc…He was in the Nicu for 5 months…I can go on and on…He is now a year old..And is a lil delayed..Just starting to sit up alone..But no health problems…He weighs 22 pounds now…And I’m thankful he is with us today :*)

  12. Thank you all sooooo much for your post. My baby boy Aiden Lucas Cohen was born on June 10, 2010 at 24 weeks and 1day. He had no brain bleeds, no infection, no PDA and cried and had his eyes open when he was born. God is awesome. We know we have a long road ahead of us but we are so blessed to see all the little miracles out there and to read that there is hope.

  13. Lisa Belman says:

    My son Jared was born at 25weeks 5 days weighed 1lb 13oz (823g) and measured 14 1/4 inches at birth. He was dead for a full 15 minutes the day he was born and by the grace of God he survived. He had grade 4 IVH bi-laterally. He was on the vent for 3 weeks. He was in the NICU for 67 days and came home a full month before his due date.

    We had many bumps in our journey. He didn’t walk untl he was 18 months (adjusted) and he didn’t talk until he was almost 3 years old. He is about to start 2nd grade this week. He reads like a 4th grader and does math at a 3rd grade level.

  14. Luci Kemper says:

    I had scarlett at 23 weeks and 5 days on 9/3/2010. She weighed 630 g, or 1lb, 6 oz. My due date was supposed to be the day after christmas. Because the hospital refused to do a c-section for me, she has a brain bleed, grade 3. I found out that the hospital legally didn’t have to work to keep her alive (not until 24 wks) and I feel amazingly lucky that they did.
    Right now, at 4 wks old, would’ve-been-28 wks gestated, she is doing fairly good. Her kidneys don’t function properly without diuretics and the slightest infection makes her too tired to breathe, so she sometimes has to go on the cpap, but she is truly my miracle baby.
    I only pray that she will have minimal developmental issues.

  15. Hello my name is John and i am a preemie, I was born 22 weeks early on Sept 2nd 1990 and weight 1 pound and 11 ounces. I am a survivor who is legally blind in my right eye and i have a severe hearing loss in both ears. I wore glasses and hearing aids since age 2. I have conquered multiple surgeries and a stage three brain bleed at birth. I hope to be an inspiration and give hope to any mother and father who’s child is a preemie.

    John Lea II

    • Lisa vogel says:

      Hey Jon you truly are a miracle, I had triplets who were born at 22 weeks two boys and a girl, and the hospital simply told me my babies were alive now but would die and so just hold them and enjoy the short time I had with them. All three babies lived for over 2 hours without any machines, air, or even any doctors checking in on their vitals. I just believed the hospital when they told me there was nothing they could do, but they really never even gave my babies a chance. The first born cried when he was first born and I watched all of them fight so hard to live, their lungs were strong, and they had so much heart. I am thankful that your mother went to a hospital where they think about lives and not costs, and that you were so strong and fought through all of the difficulties you faced. It was just the one year anniversary or(the babies birthday) 5 days ago on May 2nd, I think about them every day and just imagine what could have been, what they would be like, but I just have to believe that there is some reason that I will never understand that it had to be this way. Take care and thank you for sharing your story, it would be great for more hospitals, nurses, doctors to see that they should at least give the baby the chance to fight for their life.

      • I just had my lil man Aug 13th , 2012 at 22.4 days he fought so hard to be here ..heartbeat was strong up until the end..32min of life without so much as being suctioned out ..held him for his entire life forever in my heart

  16. I wish I had known about support groups like this when my daughter was born. I had my daughter at 24 w 4 d, 1lb 5oz, 12in long, and she is a true miracle. She is now 5 mo old (1 1/2 adjusted) and she is hitting every milestone that a 2 month old should. She survived the 96 days in the NICU with a small PDA, stage 2 ROP that corrected itself 2 weeks after her discharge, and a pulmonary hemorrhage. She looks and acts like a perfectly healthy baby girl, although she is still very small (8lbs). I could not ask for a more wonderful child than the one God has graced me with.

    I hope that all preemie mothers out there get a chance to take advantage of all the stories on here so that they know they aren’t alone.

    • We have similar stories. Aiden was actually in the hospital for 4 months. He came home the day before my due date on Sept 28th. It was so scary. But he is doing well. He’s on half liter of oxygen. But other than that he’s well. He is pushing 11 lbs and is 6 weeks adjusted. First Steps has been working with him and will hopefully catch any developments delays. Glad to here you all are well.

  17. I recently lost my twins one at 21 weeks 1 day and the second baby at 22 weeks. I was wondering if there was more they could have done for my 22 weeker. My baby actually came out crying, only about three times, but lived for 2 hours on his own unassisted. His chest was moving and he had a grinning/sad face while trying to take in breaths the whole time. Before they determined he was too small to help, I was drugs with phen and nubain, unable to stay awake. They did not even ask me if I wanted attempt to save him. They told me with my first birth a week before that it would split there mouth open and cause pain, but then I read that they give the premies morphine for pain which makes them alot more comfortable. My question is, doesn’t crying signal that the baby had some lung maturation? Did anyone elses premie cry? My daughter born at 21 weeks 1 day, the first twin, lived for 3 hours unassisted. I understand them not intervening for her because of her skin, it was very thin and gelatinous looking. I was thinking she would die a painful death if allowed to live. My sons skin was like a normal premies skin, it was a lot thicker than his sisters. I just hate to think that my son possibly, (10%) small chance could have lived. He was crying and breathing without steroids. He weight 463g. I miss them and love them so much. Not to mention it took 5 years to get pregnant and had to get ivf because of male factor. Almost impossible for me to get pregnant without 15,000 dollars. I told the doctors this and they tried to seem compassionate but were not. I wish they did not drug me after the birth to get both babies placentas out. I would have made a decision to intubate, even if it caused temporary pain. I don’t think many babies his age actually cry and breath for long, they did not even have to resusitate, which they do for most premies. I am so confused and pained. I want to have children and it is going to take years to get the money up. I just want to get pregnant immediately, because I know that is what will help the pain to some degree. But it will most likely not happen. Any insite would be helpful. Thanks

    • I’m so sorry for you loss. It’s heartbreaking and frightening to lose a baby at all, much less your first baby, and then to lose twins!

      I can understand your questions about your boy surviving. When I was in the hospital with my membranes hanging out the doctor asked me if I wanted to be lifeflighted to a hospital that MIGHT have a way to save my baby. He and the life-flight paramedics when they arrived took a minute to tell me the chances were fiercely slim and that I could save a lot of hassle, heartache, and expense if I just let my son be born where I was and let him die.

      I don’t know if it was reasonable or not, but I told them I would do anything I had to to give my baby the best chance possible. I had no idea that there was an age of viability – that the hospital would refuse to try and save my baby under 24 weeks gestation. But if there was a tiny chance I could stay pregnant that long I wanted to do it.

      I miss my sweet boy terribly, and think about him often. Years later, when I heard stories about micro preemies who’s skin ripped every time they got an IV and many other terrifying things that micropreemies face, I think I’m grateful that my son did not have to go through that. I don’t know if I could have stood to watch him suffer so. I’m happy that his short life blessed our family and I’m glad that he is free of pain.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. My daughter was born in September and I wasn’t due until Jan 17th. I was 70% effaced, dilated and was contracting at 22 weeks, but held on for a few days, and she was born at 23 weeks 4 days. Before she was born, I was taken by ambulance an hour away to a different hospital with a level 3 NICU. They were equipped to handle babies that weigh over 400grams. She weighed 479 when I went into labor, and after those few days in the hospital, she was born weighing 545 grams. She did not cry when she was born, and her eyes were fused shut for the first 3 or 4 weeks. She was on the ventilator for the first 7 weeks. It’s been almost 4 months, but she is alive and still in the hospital. She weighs over 6lbs now and has a nasal cannula for oxygen. It has been a long road, but so far it looks like she will be pretty normal. I haven’t heard of any preemies’ skin ripping at our NICU. They use the umbilical line for the first few weeks, then run arterial lines that can last up to a month.
      My brother lives in another state, and he and his wife lost twins in a similar story to yours in Dec 2008. His wife just gave birth a few weeks ago to a healthy pair of full term twins! She insisted on getting a cerclage placed, and both babies were born weighing over 6lbs!
      I hope you don’t give up on parenthood and either try again to get pregnant, or adopt. If you get pregnant, go see a perinatologist instead of an obstetrician, and make sure you can go to a hospital with at least a level 3 NICU.
      *Melanie*
      http://www.facebook.com/reesiepuff

    • ingrid Peters says:

      I am a NICU nurse and I have seen so many micropreemies in my 18 years in this speciality. It is always hard to care for the family of those preemies as they have such a difficult time dealing with the machines, tubes, and various procedures their infants endure. As a mother of two preemies myself…I understand the frustration and sadness only too well. But to answer your question related to a baby crying…doesn’t that mean the lungs are mature…no. Even though a baby cries it does not mean the lungs are mature. Lungs at 21 to 24 weeks gestation are never mature. Ventilator support causes what we call “barotrauma”. The constant pressure of oxygen forced into the lungs can and does damage them. If an infant survives this the damaged lung tissue does not heal….however the new lung tissue that grows as your baby grows will likely be much healthier if not exposed to this ongoing pressure. But not just the lungs are immature, your baby’s brain is very underdeveloped and prone to injury. Your baby’s digestive system is not yet ready to function normally; the skin is not mature and as the skin is the largest organ of the body. Immature skin is prone to damage and thus infection. Skin is the bodys first line of defense so-to-speak as it covers us literally head to toe. Your baby’s immune system is also compromised and therefore unable to combat infection effectively. Many many factors are considered when decisions are made whether to attempt to save these babies. We are not cold hearted for sure. Many times we are ‘brokenhearted”.It is very hard to tell a mom her baby will not survive as she looks at a breathing, crying baby. I went through this also and I know the grief suffered. Please know you were there for your baby and did all you could possibly have done. It is highly unlikely your little one would have survived even with heroic measures.. We never forget our babies, but time does heal us so we may go on without so much pain. Please know we all question so many things that have happened beyond our control…and that lends itself to alot of unresolved grief. I wish you well and pray that you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby soon.

  18. this realy helps me amot..my son was born on december 27 2010. he was born 1 pound 8 ounces..and 13 inches long. i didnt kno i was pregnate with him. he was 25 weeks old when he was born…at least thats what they think. he was intubated for the fist week and a half of his life and now he is on the cpap of 4. he is now almost 30 weeks and still fighting.. it realy helps to kno that im not hte only one that is going through this. when he was born they told me that they didnt kno if he was going to make it . but he came out fighting. and he is my little miricle…

  19. Hi. I’m a nurse in the NICU and I’ve seen a lot of micro-preemies; viable and not viable. Please know that the doctors were right to not attempt sustaining life in your 21 week old son. I’m sure it was very difficult for you and your husband but even though he was breathing, your baby would have been put through torture only to pass away at a later time. The earliest gestation we will resuscitate is 23 weeks and that is really pushing it on the chance of survival. 23 weekers do survive sometimes but a lot of the time they come to the NICU and go through hell for a few days only to be taken off support. Their little bodies have breathing tubes down their tracheas, IV lines everywhere and their skin is so nonexistent that every touch is painful to them. They will almost always acquire brain bleeds which leads to severe mental retardation. I love the babies but I hate to see them suffer for nothing. Your baby passed away peacefully in your arms with no pain. He was lucky to not become an experiment in how young a fetus can be to survive. At 21 weeks, it is just not possible. I’m sorry for your loss and congratulations for surviving the NICU with your 27 weeker. :) They are tough little cookies.

    • Thanks, Erika. I know the doctors did the right thing, and in fact Dan never did take a breath. From the first moment he lay there as still as can be, peaceful, mouth and eyes closed, and serene. Thanks for sharing your input from a nurse’s perspective.

    • Hi
      I just delivered a 23 week 4 day preemie….that me and my husband were advised not to save because they felt it was horrible to let your baby go through all what they go through in the nicu. I second guess myself daily! They actually thought I was 22 weeks and 4 days but when I delivered my placenta and baby turned out to be a week ahead. I want to get a malpractice attorney. Is that possible? Please reply via email ndiapublic@msn.com

  20. Jackson was born on February 14 ,2009 my son was IUGR and was delivered at 26 weeks and 6 days and weighed in at 1lb 8oz(670 grams) he dropped to 590 grams. My son was not on any oxygen only his CPAP which he was on for 3 weeks. He was transferred to a level 2 nursery at 31 days old and came home after 30 days in the level 2 nursery meaning that he actually came home a month before his due date…what a great kid.He is going to be 2 on Valentines Day and has not had one set back. He is a loving little boy who enjoys all that life has to give.

  21. Dana Vieira says:

    Maggie was born at 25 weeks and 15 oz ..she is now 5 and AMAZING..My Miracle..

  22. Hi Afton,
    I am sorry to read about the loss of your little man. My daughter was born at 23 weeks and 5 days gestation and is now a happy school age kid :)
    There is alot of controversy surrounding the story about Amillia (baby who is reported to have survived (born at 21 weeks and 6 days gestation) Amillias mum concieved via IVF making Amillias gestational age from the date of conception and not from the date of her mothers last menstrual cycle (which would have made her 23 weeks and 6days at birth). Babies born at 24 weeks have a 60-70% chance of surviving (pending weight) a genuine 21 weeker has never been known to survive, But I have heard of an almost 23 weeker (22weeks 5 days) surviving (he is the cu=rrent world record holder based on gestational age (not weight).

    • Thank you for the information. That’s very interesting! It does make me feel a little better, too. :)

    • Jennifer says:

      I’m so sorry to hear the stories on all of your losses. I have been fortunate enough to never have to go through the anguish of your situations, but I consider my children miracles all the same. If I may correct the last comment, the current world record holder is James Elgin Gill, of Ottawa, Canada. He was born at 21 weeks, 5 days gestational age in 1987. In 2010 there was another girl who survived at this age born in Germany. Her name is Freida. I am currently petitioning citizens and legislators in my state in order to create a law that will lower the legal limit on abortion to 20 weeks, instead of the 24 weeks that is currently the standard in most states for non-medically necessary abortions. I need as much help as possible to set the precedent in the state of virginia and encourage other states to follow. Please sign my petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/the-commonwealth-of-virginia-enact-a-law-lowering-the-time-limit-on-legal-abortion-to-20-weeks

      Help me give these babies a chance to survive.

  23. Afton,

    What a wonderful idea! I know it has been a while since you created this site, but it must still be a source of support for alot of mothers – inluding myself. My daughter Serenity Grace was born at 23 wks 3 days, 1lb 2oz and 11 1/2 inches long. She was born with an APGAR score of 2 – she had a heartbeat and she moved a little. She was not breathing so they intubated immediately. She was transfered to Tacoma General (a level 3 NICU) an hour away and survived the trip. The Doctor gave us the option of trying to save her or just letting her go. It took about 2 seconds to decide to try. She turns 2 tomorrow. She had a PDA Ligation at 9 days old (so tiny!). She did not open her eyes till she was 18 days old. Her skin was transparent when she was born – like wet rice paper, they were very careful about any tape they put on her because taking it off would have removed her skin. for the first month and a half, they had to sedate her before anything that involved touching her because her SATs would drop to almost nothing when she was touched. She was on a ventilator for 67 days and had a diagnosis of Chronic Lung Disease. She had a level 2 ROP (Retinopothy of Prematurity) which resolved itself while she was still in the hospital. It was touch and go on an intestinal blockage she had. We were 6 hours away from abdominal surgery when she had a bowel movement. I have NEVER been so happy to change a poopy diaper in my life! She was discharged one week after her original due date on August 27th. exactly 4 months after her birth. She is small even for her corrected age of 20 mos (just over 22 lbs) but she is walking-even running, and talking up a storm! She is just starting to string together 2 words at a time (like “up please”), and she is a good eater. The Doctors and Nurses at the NICU were astonished that she never had any brain bleeds – they say that was unheard of in a preemie that young. She was the smallest preemie they have ever had that didn’t have even a little brain bleed. Another Miracle of Medical Marvel and Godly Intervention. To say that the NICU is a Roller Coaster is making it sould like it is fun – no, it is not! But once you get on that ride, there is no other option but to finish it – the alternitive is unaceptable. It was heart breaking to watch other parents who had to get off that ride early because their baby didn’t make it. My prayers to all of you who suffered that loss, but to those of you who are looking for hope – Look at Serenity Grace and know there is hope!

  24. jennifer dykes says:

    our baby was born at 27 weeks gestation in 2000, she was on the ventilator for 1 day and stayed in the hospital for 10 weeks, our only holdup was that she could not digest milk, not breast milk, even diluted she was given 1cc of breast milk gavaged over 3hours only to produce bile with it, sooooo finally after putting her on a formula of practically predigested milk she was able to eat and we made it home, born on march 20 2000 at 1lb 13 oz and 14 and a half in long, came home may 28 2000 at 4lbs 5 oz and her due date was june 14 2000, she is a happy healthy 11 year old with no health problems and developmental delays she is beautiful even if she is still tiny, tiny but mighty, still likes to be naked she was naked for the 1st month of her life so i guess thats why and it was a month before i ever got to hold her and kangaroo with her, now she is a lover and hugger and is very happy about just about everything my little happy go lucky, she did have lots of tubes everywhere and definately it was hard to watch and hard to have put her through all of the poking and prodding sticking and pain, she still has scars on the tops of her hands from iv s and on her heels from heel sticks ,every time i see them i am reminded of how strong she is, how lucky and blessed we are, what a wonderful god we have and how much the medical world can do hope that all of you going through this have as good an outcome as we have had i know that it is the hardest thing you will ever have to go through and i will hug her even more and think about you and your children

  25. jennifer says:

    My son Andrew was born at 22 weeks weighing 283grams (10oz). He was a live birth and a true fighter. My water actually broke at 20 weeks, and I spent 17 days in hospital – waiting to go into labour which (against all odds) my body did not want to do. After the first 48 hours they called in a neonatalogist to speak to me and tell me all the horrible things micro preemies faced and that the odds were virtually 100% that I would go into spontaneous labour and miscarry within 72 hours of my water breaking – but I didn’t , so they wanted to induce me. I chose to wait, hoping against all hope that if I could make it to 24 weeks that my baby would have a chance.
    Unfortunately, I became very septic, and an induction became a medical necessity. Andrew was born alive on Feb 27th, 2000 – and lived only a few minutes. His official cause of death was chorioamnionitis – an infection of the umbilical cord. The nurses were fantastic, and let me hold him as long as I wanted to. The following day I had surgery, and the day after that I was released – empty handed. I still wonder sometimes how things would have turned out if I’d been more forceful and demanded they do something, or if he’d been born at a hospital with a better neonatal care unit – a million questions. I have since had 3 more boys – all early, but considered term (37, 37, and 38 wks) who are wonderful and the joy of my life. I will always miss my Andrew though – and wonder if things could have been different. He would have been 11 yrs old now.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sorry for the loss of your son, and I’m glad you now have three healthy boys to love. I really appreciate your comment.

  26. My son was born at 24 weeks when i went into labor they wanted to know if i wanted to go ahead and have him aborted since his survival rate was so low..I was like i dont even think so do you hear that heartbeat on those monotors?? my baby is alive and I felt like i should give him every oppertunity to live And I am so glad I did we had alot of rough days and some good but it was all worth it!! he is now 20month and doing great he had alot of issues leaving the hopsital but all have resolved. Expect chronic lung desies which he will have for awhile but he is going strond I love him soo much!! I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES

  27. Abbigail says:

    I had My daughter kayla at 26 weeks due to placenta previa. she weighed 950 gram at birth and her weight dropped down to 860g. She spent a total of 75 days In the hospital. it was a long and hard time for us all with alot of ups and downs. But today she is a happy and healthy 2 year old. She is still tiny though and only weighs 10 kilos now. We are so blessed to have her in our lives and truly believe in miracles

  28. Gidget bourdeau says:

    My micro preemie was born at 23 weeks 5 days gestation. Shondalyn was 1 lb 5oz and 11 3/4inches long. They said she wouldn’t survive the 1st 24 hrs, and if she did she would have alot of medical problems. Call me selfish but I insisted they do everything they could for her and her nicu is amazing! THOSE DR’S AND NURSES ARE ANGELS! Shondalyn will be 13 weeks old tomorrow, she’s 4 1/2 lbs and 16 1/2 inches long! She’s had all the classic micro preemie issues ( cld, PDA, ROP, grade 1 brain bleed transfusions,ect) but she is beautiful and thriving

  29. Christina Rankin says:

    At 21 weeks, 3 days, we had our “bad ultrasound” where we found out that our precious Sonja had died because of twin-to-twin transfusion. Her identical twin Elena was also in trouble because she had a lot of excess fluid due to the transfusion. Two days later, I delivered Sonja and had the worst hour of my life thinking that we were also going to lose Elena, until we were told that there was a procedure that could be done — a rescue cerclage — to give Elena the time she needed to be viable. After nine days of strict bed rest, Elena was born at exactly 23 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 2 ounces. Her PDA closed up with meds and she had no brain bleeds. After 116 days in the NICU, including laser eye surgery and a hernia surgery, Elena finally came home, still on oxygen. It was 3 days before her due date. Today she is a happy, healthy, beautiful one year old. I still worry about her making her milestones, but overall she is on target for her adjusted age.

  30. Just glad to see there is hope for my 4th baby I am about 18wks with partial placental abruption. I find out monday how we are doing…I guess everyday counts. It has been hard to eat and function because of the depression but I am trying. God be with everyone during these troubling times!!!

    • asheyraye says:

      Keep us updated, best of luck to you! Sending good vibes your way/

    • I also had a partial placenta abruption. Mine was at 16 wks. I had alot of scary times and went to the hospital 3 times thinking I was going to loose my son but he stayed strong. I was in the hospital when I was 24 wks and I recieved my steroid shots (which i recommend u to do!) And he was born at 24wks and 6 days on August 26th 2011 weighing 1pd 10oz he’s 5 wks old now and is breathing room air and 4liters of flow on his oxygen and thankfully no brain bleeds or PDA! He weighs 2 pds 5oz ! We r still in the nicu. but stay strong and listen to everything the doctor says stay in bed I knw its hard I was on bedrest for 2 months but its all worth it!

  31. Jaskaran Singh says:

    i live in india. My wife had bleeding and spotting during her 2nd 3rd month of preg but docs controlled it upto 6th month but at 29th week starting my wife has delivered a girl child due to placental insufficiency due to notching in artery. my child is born on 3 oct 2011, 670 gms weight, she cried at birth, docs told me she cud’nt survive more than 5 to 10 mins due to her weekness, they gave me, i took her home, she survived till next day morning. then we started hoping positive, v admited her to hospital. she is respirating herself, v r hoping and praying 4 her, today is 11 oct 2011. her wt is stable[640]. v dont know what vl happen. but v believe miracles do happen.

  32. OMG Tiffany! I just had my baby boy on October 25th. He was 24 weeks and 6 days old, weighing exactly 1lb 10oz too! He is doing great! He had some bleeding in his lungs last week and the Doc told us to hope for the worse, but against all odds I stayed positive and he no longer has blood in his lungs, and they look like they are expanding more on the X-rays. He is almost 2lbs! I am so proud of my little fighter. Micro preemies are so strong! Don’t let anyone put your hopes down and stay positive for the sake of your children.

  33. I am a nurse in a NICU. I will tell you that this baby would not survive. This picture is of an extremely underdeveloped “fetus”. Our NICU saves 23 weekers- but 21 and 23 weeks is a HUGE! difference. No hospital would save this baby. Just because a baby has a heartbeat at birth does not mean it would survive. You have no idea….

  34. I feel for you. As an otherwise healthy woman, I have horrible pregnancies. (Stillbirth @ 27 weeks following severe eclampsia, 36 week preemie after two hospitalizations for pre-eclampsia and 6 weeks of bed rest, 30 week preemie 2lbs 20 oz after emergency c-section for pre-term labor while he was in distress.) The 30 week preemie is now 14. He was in the NICU for 6 weeks. He had…just about everything…severe bleeds, needed transfusions, double inguinal hernia, the laser eye surgeries for ROP, a yeast infection in his blood stream that nearly killed him before they could diagnose it. We had some rough years…the first four while he underwent physical therapy, speech therapy and special instruction. All worth it. He’s in advanced everything, a typical teen, smart and lazy.

    And we’re about to go through it again. I’m 24 weeks. At 21 weeks 6 days, I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia…which was causing an inadequate placenta, and meant that our daughter is currently in survival mode…not making amniotic fluid with low dangerously low levels. I was placed on bed rest and told we’d come up with a plan if I could make it two more weeks, but they honestly expected me to miscarry at any time. We have defied the odds. She has gained two ounces in the last two weeks…11 ounces. (Did I mention the IUGR because of the placenta?)

    So, we are taking it week by week. In a few hours, I’ll be getting my second betamethasone shot. I have been taking progesterone shots weekly for the last 6 weeks to prevent preterm labor. They are closely monitoring the pre-eclampsia and have told me the signs to watch for to have our emergency c-section.

    I came for inspiration. We’ll let you know what happens. I believe in miracles. I survive on hope. And I’m willing to do the work to make it happen.

    Hugs.

  35. Saw your post above and it says that one little girl is the only surviving preemie born before 23 weeks. My daughter was 1 lb 5 oz and is a 22 week 5 day gestation baby! The neonatologist told me he wasn’t sure he was going to rescusitate her or not. I told him he wasn’t going to touch her then. Needless to say he agreed to and 11 years later she is doing great!

    • Charlotte says:

      My daughter Milana was born at born at 26 wks exactly. She was in the NICU from may 6, 2011 to the middle of july. She was due on 8/12/11. I was there, 24/7 after my emergency csection by her isolette. I couldnt see her because of my surgery until the next day and i was placed under genersl anesthesia. I remember reading all the articles along the walls (the hospital where she was born has one of the BEST NICU’S in california) anyway one of the newspaper articles that i read said, the youngest micro preemie born from that hospital was a girl born at 19 weeks gestation and weighing 6 oz in the 90′s and the girl is alive and well today with no health problems and shes a teenager.

  36. Hi. I have PCOS and my husband and I decided to adopt after unsuccessful IF treatments. We were just matched with at micropremie born at 24 weeks weighing just 1lb and 7 oz. We met the birthparents and they seem real nice. She didn’t know she was pregnant but didn’t do any drugs or alcohol. So far no brain bleedings. We want to say yes (if they pick us, which it seems like they might because we really had a great meeting) but we are so scared about her not surviving. They are saying she has 5 months more or less to be in the NICU. What do you guys think we should do? Ultimately it is our choice, but I would love some advice from people who have had micropremies themselves.

  37. I went into labor with my little guy at 23 weeks. I went in and was dilated to a 3 and fully effaced. After a very long and emotional week on hospital bed rest, my little man was born at 24 weeks. He weighed 1 pound 6 ounces and he was 12 and 1/2 inches long. He was in the hospital for 3 1/2 months and suffered only minor brain bleeds. He had ROP and PDA surgery and today is doing fabulous.

    He will turn 3 in April and is still very thin, but he’s very long and overall healthy and normal. He’s my joy in life. He inspires me.

  38. My daughter Sophia was born 15 weeks early. She was 25 weeks 3 days. She was born on Nov 30. 2011 at 10:16am. She was 11.5 inches, 1lb .06oz. I developed HELLP syndrome and she was 16 days behind schedule in her own development. I am proud to say that she is 3lbs 6.2oz and working on coming home! She just had an infection this past week and was put back on a ventilator. Today they weened her off and put her back on a nasal cannula. I am so thrilled with her progress. It has been a long road, but she is one tough cookie!

  39. heidi chavez says:

    i wish i had time at this moment to tell our miracle story of my beautful baby girl Chloe Marie. she is now 7 1/2 yrs old in 2nd grade. she was born at 26 weeks (my NICU nurses said she was really closer to 25 weeks) my wonderful child weighed 1.4lb and was 12 3/4″ long.
    i was blessed to nurture her 24/7 for her first 2 years. she is a princess that never left my arms.
    today i still dont want her to leave my arms. we are very close. i am so grateful God blessed me woth her. i will write our story later with more time on my hands.

  40. christy says:

    My sister was a micropreemie weighing only 600 grams sadly she only lived for 20 days we thoght she was going to make it because she lived with no complication until the day of her death is like she new she was leaving because that day she left it seemed as of she was saying goodbye and she just kept on smiling like the angels were with her something i will never forget …….she was so tiny her casket was like the size of a 2 year olds shoe box….

  41. Just thought I would comment on the enourmous amount of courage it takes to survive through a NICU. My Wife and I went through this very thing 12 yrs ago, our son was 2 pounds officially and then settled @ 1lb 10 oz before making any gains. Anyway that was 12 years ago and now Michael is 60 pounds and 59″ tall Yep pretty skinny. He is one of the survivors that everyone hopes for. A’s and B’s in school and races a go kart with his friends on weekends. and is Southern States Solo National Champ in 2011.
    We still go through things like teachers showing concern for his well being and sending family services to visit us “because Michael does not seem like he gets enough to eat”. We gave him the number to our peditrician who also happened to be is NICU doctor way back.

    Reading some of the stories above makes me cry.

  42. My daughter was born at exactly 24 weeks, weighing 1lbs7oz and diagnosed with chronic lung disease. She was on O2 and remained in the NICU for exactly 3 months. When discharged home, O2 was discontinued and she went home at 5lbs with no respiratory equipment whatsoever.

    She is now 8 years old, with no mental or physical issues at all, and is truly an absolute sweetheart.

    Preemies are tiny miracles from above, I believe this 100%.

  43. he weighed 14oz and was 10 inches long

  44. Hi i have a 24 week preemie boy born weighed at 680grams at birth. He has been in the Nicu for almost 6months now. He have chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension. He is going through a very rough time now but he is still fighting . He is currently on a 100% oxygen Sidenafil, Bosentan, diuretics,20% Nitric Oxide and other medication to keep him calm. Right now he is on the Ventilator for 1 month now and still no improvement. This has been very stressful for me and my family. The doctors are saying he is not going to survive it but i am still hopeful because miracles do happen. Yesterday we had a conference call with the doctors and they have decided to take him off the ventilator and let him die a natural death but i am not ready to let him go. It is very a hard decision for any parent to make after the baby has been here for a while.

    • Lynnis, my name is Laura and I am a Family Support Navigator with Hand to Hold.
      Thank you for reaching out and for being so open and honest about your experience. I am sorry about the obstacles you are facing and would love to help connect you with another mom who has had a similar experience. You can reach me at laura@handtohold.org

  45. Angela D says:

    I am a micro preemie. I was born at 25wks and 2 days gestation. I was 1lb 9oz. The doctors said she’s not gonna make it. I am now thirty one years old. I had no surgery and i can walk, talk, think etc. and I have a five yr old son. I got out of north york general the days before the nelles baby killings. If I hadn’t transfered I would have been one of the victims. I have a heart problem, arthrtis,scoliosis and other medical problems. But I’m alive and normal, no wheel chair our anything like that. So people say I am a miracle baby.

  46. I am known as the sick kids famous six. I was born in 1981, technology was not great then. In 1986 the famous six were known as micro preemies that had survivex pastthe age of two. In 1986 I was taken to a walk in for a cold and the nurses jaw dropped when she realized who I was and that I was alive and healthy with no surgeries done. The nurse worked at the hospital I was at. So I guess I’m famous to sick kids. Also at that time my mum was in hospital truing not to have my brother early. My mum died two yrs ago at age 54, from what they believe was mad cow diesease. But I am looking for any micro preemies that are in there 20′ s or older. If there are any please e mail me at angantom@gmail.com

  47. My boy AXEL-MISULU;born at 27weeks4days with 830g;1day on the ventilator;4 weeks in NICU at 5months corrected;weight 7.2kg mesure 67cm; HC 41cm. This premature birth was due to mother ashmatic respiratory fellure;from witch spend 2weeks on the mechanical ventilator in Critical ICU;then had a cesar.The baby is very healthy an happy;leaning to seat;teething and using word mama and dada;we thanks God to make things possible.

  48. My son Isaac was born May 12th, 1lb 1oz and 23 weeks and 2 days, after my wife spent 10 days hospitalized on bed rest. He died May 19th.

    He cried when he was born, he sounded like a kitten. He had a level 1 brain bleed and minor PDA which appeared to have cleared up. Unfortunately, he developed the bowel perforation, he initially had only an E. Coli infection, but no physical signs of the perforation. It wasn’t until the 19th that he finally showed the signs. He was transported to another hospital for surgery, but by the time he arrived there it was too late and he died in the OR.

    While my wife was hospitalized and then while my son was in the NICU, I was reading, talking to the doctors and soaking up all the information that I could find.

    Since his death, I realized that there wasn’t a lot that could have been done to save him. He was getting oxygen in because it was being forced in, but his lungs weren’t getting the carbon dioxide out. That was causing his blood to become acidic.

    Then they found the E. Coli infection, it was in his blood. The suspicion was that he had a bowel perforation, but he had no other symptoms.

    The infection caused his blood to become more acidic.

    The only way to confirm that he had the perforation would have been to do surgery, but the surgery itself could have killed him.

    So, we could do nothing, and hope. Or, we could push the doctors to do something and hope it helped, but there was a high risk of doing more damage or even killing him.

    A couple of things that I learned from this that, if nothing else, every parent in this situation needs to remember:

    1) They are so fragile. Their bodies are simply not ready for being outside of the womb, so literally everything has the potential to cause damage and that damage can affect them for the rest of their lives.

    2) Everything that the doctors do is all part of a balancing act on the edge of a razor, every action will have a reaction and the doctors have to consider every single step that they might take and look at the potential consequences.

    In my son’s case, the doctor could have ordered surgery to look for the bowel perforation as soon as he saw the infection. But bacteria are microscopic, which means that they don’t need a big hole to get out. The doctors doing the surgery may not have been able to find the leak early on, but in the process of doing the surgery, they could have caused other damage or the stress from the surgery itself could have killed him. It all has to be considered.

    3) Everything the doctors do to try to force your child to live will damage your child’s body. There is no way to avoid it and, again, that damage will affect them for the rest of their lives.

    I want to stress to the parents that question whether their baby could have been saved because he/she was breathing, it’s just not that simple. His/her lungs may be able to get air in and out. Crying just requires air to moving over the vocal cords.

    But if his/her lungs can’t get oxygen into their blood and get carbon dioxide out, then they simply can’t live. Forcing them to live when their body isn’t physically capable of living only serves to prolong their suffering.

    My wife and I miss our son so much. Every time we read something about somebody else’s child that was born around the same gestational age and lived, it makes us wonder again if we and the doctors did everything we and they could have done.

    The thing that gives us peace is knowing that Isaac is now resting peacefully and that we got to spend 7 days with him.

    I got to cradle Isaac in his incubator for 20 minutes, just hold him, and I will remember that and cherish it for the rest of my life.

    But I was also there when the doctor had to take a blood sample from Isaac’s wrist and I saw Isaac screaming in pain – he had a ventilator tube, so I couldn’t hear him, but I could clearly see the scream.

    And that was only the beginning of what would have been a very long and painful time for our son.

    As much as we wish Isaac was here with us, we wished just as much that Isaac wouldn’t have to spend a lifetime crippled or in pain. The likelihood that he would have problems was very high, almost guaranteed, but we wouldn’t know what or how bad for months or years.

    God created a beautiful universe, a beautiful world and beautiful creatures, including us. The human body is a remarkable and beautiful creation. But, just as God gives us choices as individuals, he created our bodies to run on their own and he can’t control what our bodies do every second of every day.

    But, as I told my wife, while God may not be able to control everything that happens, he has a way of making things right. We have to remember that what is right may not be want we want.

    And so I believe it is with Isaac. He had a strong will and a strong heart, but his body just wasn’t ready for this world yet. While it hurt so much to lose him and still hurts so much to not have him here, I know he has been spared so much pain and if we can’t have him here with us, that it is all I could ask for.

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