- American Medical Association
Support pProm Labor Intervention & Lower Gestational "Viability"
I experienced pProm at 19 weeks 5 days gestation. I was given all the grim statistics from the doctors about how babies born at this gestation don't survive, and if they do, how they'll be crippled with poor lungs, etc. I was guilted into "terminating" the pregnancy, and told I would be just another statistic of "late miscarriage." But nobody was going to convince me to give up on my precious baby, so I held on, prayed, and hoped for a miracle. I found blogs and Facebook pages about pProm and the HUGE community of women, just like me, who had been given the same hopeless statistics, but still chose not to give up. I found out MANY of them held on for weeks, and even months, after pProm, and MANY babies survived without any long-term complications at all. The remaining majority of survivors had a few complicatons, but certainly nothing that would amount to a poor qualtiy of life. So I held on...and prayed.
9 days later, at 21 weeks 0 days gestation, I started experiencing labor pains. Nothing was done to stop the labor due to current "viability" statistics which consider babies born before 23/24 weeks to be not "viable;" these babies are lost and merely considered a "late miscarriage," not even receiving a birth certificate. I was allowed to labor for over 24 hours as they sat there, watching me...refusing to help...refusing to give me a simple drug that could have stopped my contractions...trying to force me to have a DNC & "terminate" my "fetus." Due to this labor, which COULD have been stopped, I dialated and experienced a prolapsed cord.
Getting the doctors to agree to resuscitate Josiah was an uphill battle to say the least. I had to go through so much, and in the end, had to position myself as a martyr...willing to die for the life of my son...to get them to help him. Women shouldn't have to go through what I did and NO mother should be forced to risk her own life to save the life of her child - though I'm sure most wouldn't think twice about doing so. I delivered Josiah at 21 weeks 1 days and with God's healing power, my son, Josiah, survived.
Josiah is not the healthiest baby and likely never will be. This SHOULD NOT be used as a reason to keep the laws they way they are now. Rather, this is a prime example of why the laws SHOULD BE CHANGED. If my labor had received intervention, there's no telling how long I could have held on and how much more growing Josiah could have done before being forced to fight this world on his own. His lungs may be better and he may not have experienced severe IVH (which is now a bigger concern and will undoubtedly have a more severe impact on his life than his lungs and premature birth combined). But intervention DIDN'T happen, he WAS forced into this world before he was ready, and he will now have to live with the life-long consequences of extreme prematurity - - - which may have been prevented, or at least minimized. NOT because the labor couldn't be stopped, and CERTAINLY not because he wasn't viable. Josiah is living proof that babies before 23/24 weeks can...and WILL...survive if they are given a chance. But rahter because medical professionals refused to help...refused to administer a simple drug that could have helped me hold him in...he will now have to endure life-long, debilitating injury to his lungs & brain.
How many MILLIONS of dollars could be saved in NICU expenses simply by giving a drug to prolong a pregnancy rather than forcing these babies to fight on their own? The labor process normally takes place over WEEKS. A mother's cervix begins to thin, dialate, etc. but this can be a VERY slow process, especially in the beginning when the baby is too small to put much pressure on the cervix. If these mothers were given something to stop their labors, rather than being dismissed as another "miscarriage statistic," there would likely be COUNTLESS fewer babies born at the edge of viability who are forced to endure the NICU for months before going home.
In the case of pProm and/or babies born just before "viability," how many VIABLE babies' lives are lost because we give up too soon and don't give them the chance they deserve? Current policy is almost the equivalent of a forced abortion! THESE BABIES CAN LIVE, but medical professionals won't help. As their parents, we're forced to hold them in our arms...helpless...and watch them die...when SOMETHING CAN BE DONE.
One of my son's followers is a nurse. She writes: "I was at a 22/2 week delivery where no interventions were done, baby was placed skin to skin, reaching up to his mom and it took 23 minutes for this baby to pass. The baby boy was weakly crying, and it was the longest 23 minutes of my life. Mom Just kept saying, "Can't you do something". I will never forget that delivery. I was crying with mom." This is a perfect example of a baby who was VERY MUCH ALIVE and who likely COULD HAVE MADE IT if given a chance. Josiah wasn't even breathing when he came out, so if he can make it, how many others can too?
During Prematurity Awareness Month, let's take a stand and show the medical community how much our babies mean to us. Let's raise awareness for these issues and fight for these precious little ones who have no voice. WE ARE THEIR VOICE. Let's show even HALF the courage they do in the NICU every day fighting for their lives, and fight right beside them. And for all you pProm mommies who were bullied into "terminating" and others who have lost their babies due to lack of intervention, stand up for your Angel, and make sure more babies don't join them in Heaven when something CAN be done to save them.
Please give these babies the chance they deserve...to fight...to live...to HAVE A VOICE.
For more information on Josiah's Journey, please visit the following link:
- American Medical Association
Mandate pProm Labor Intervention & Lower Gestational "Viability"
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