Looking for mum's who's babies were born at under 24 weeks

Cassana - posted on 11/10/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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Hello ladies, I recently came accross a very difficult situation regarding prematurity prior to 24 weeks. I live in the UK and it appears that different hospitals have different "guidelines" as to when they will intervine to save a baby's life. I went into hospital at 22 weeks with Pre-PROM and they wouldn't do anything, not even give me antibiotics to try and prolong the onset of labour. I then went back at 23 weeks and demanded atibiotics (which has been proven to delay labour after Pre-PROM by up to 4 weeks). at 23 weeks and 2 days I returned again with contractions every 25/30mins. The midwife was not compassionate and was extremely rude. I was told to come back if they got closer together and that they wouldn't help the baby if she was born at this point. I was off course completely mortified by the fact that had I been a matter of days on they would have intervened. The midwife actually said " Its just natures way of saying baby shouldn't be here" which as a mum of a pre term baby already was the most horrific thing to hear. I left the hospital thinking that I was going to be left with no help and this idea mortified me. I have the fortunate advantage of having an auntie who is a neonatal consultant so immediately I called her. She said to get to a 'level 3 hospital' as soon as possible, and to call their neonatal unit prior to leaving to hear what they're policy was. we did and they said that if baby was born now and looked strong enough to cope with the necessary treatment that they would intervine and try their best to save her life. I went their and immediately I was seen by neonatal doctors and I was seen by the consultants too. The treatment was fantastic and I suddenly felt reassured and that I was genuinely being looked after. they gave me steroids 24 hours later and I was put on a drip to slow my contractions too. fortunately for me I didn't dialate and kept her in for a further 4 weeks until I was 27 weeks and 3 days (baby is now nearly 2 weeks old in the intensive care unit). I had an awfull 4 weeks of full contractions but I was happy I managed that long. Anyway... I was so mortified by the fact of a few days can make all the difference to a baby's survival and its clear that something needs to be done to re-look at this policy. I just wanted to know if anyone had had their babies prior to 24 weeks and how they are now if they were offered support and if you were denied help for your baby and you feel happy sharing then how you were left feeling. My heart truly goes out to anyone who was not helped in this situation as it appears that if people knew other hospitals helped then this would be a lesser occurance. If you are happy to share then please do, and maybe between us all we can think of ways to make some awareness of this situation.
xxxxxx

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Cassana - posted on 11/14/2009

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Quoting Naomi:

  "But why make a baby stay alive when it doesnt have the will to live"


 



Usually when a woman goes into labour prior to 24 weeks it is very rarely a problem with the baby and it is a problem with the mother (ie, Pre-prom, or early labour for no reason.) many of these babies are perfectly healthy when they are in the womb, and their for it isn't wether they have the "will" its just they are under developed... they would most likely be fighting-fit, super healthy babies if they had managed to get to term.



The argument here is that if they can help and as a parent you want the help for your baby at that gestation then you should be offered it. You can have full term babies born with severe problems and needing surgery etc (as I have witnessed recently) but a doctor would never say they wouldn't help a full term baby... the other discussion point is that different hospitals have different policys and there for some mothers are left with no help when 20 miles away you will have a baby being helped who is just as early.



I did have it clearly explained to me that if she was born at 23 weeks she would firstly be assessed and if she was herendously bruised etc then it would be unfair to her to continue treatment, It was also explained that If they felt she looked well enough but they couldn't physically fit the tube down into her chest then there would be simply nothing they could do and I could understand that but it broke my heart... However If they could have helped her at that point then I would have wanted her to have had all the help she was offered. If at a later point it became apparent that her problems were too severe then maybe a re-think would have been right but I would not have been satisfied with some one just saying that they wouldn't help regardless of how well the baby was.



I just feel the above comment showed that you missed the point of this topic and also you haven't been put into that situation so it's very well saying things like this but untill you've been there yourself you can't say what you would or wouldn't have done as it is completely heartbreaking to be put in that situation and it is a completely different situation to having a baby born at 30 weeks. Your baby was born, still very premature, but I would have been happy to get to 30 weeks as this is my third time in a NICU and I have truly seen the difference those few weeks make to babies. Please don't think I'm being rude I'm just pointing out this is a very sensitive issue for people and please think about what you write as it really is a very serious topic. I'm really pleased that your little one has managed so well, and I hope it continues! x

Jenny - posted on 09/13/2012

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hi there, i'm in the uk. although its not me who had a baby my sister in law did. when my mam took her to maternity doubled over in pain they were sent away and told was she had a urine infection and to see her own gp the next day. a few hours later my brother rushed her back down where her waters broke and nothing could be done to stop the labour. on her notes she was only down as about 23 weeks so was therefor told that nothing would be done to save my nephew Roberts life. when my brother & his wife questioned this they were coldly told because he's not past 24 week mark and we dont save babies born before 24 weeks.

Robert was born not long after his mams waters broke he was crying, breathing had a heartbeat a perfect little boy, he was then past to my brother and his wife and left to die in their arm, Robert lived for nearly 2 hours clearly a fighter & still he was left. i dont see how this can be allowed surely if a baby is clearly fighting like that then medical intervention should be given to help them in that fight.

if this wasnt enough for them to go through they were then informed that Robert wont be getting a birth or death certificate as he was not born 24 weeks+ and would be just wrote down as a miscarriage no official acknowledgement for him what so ever. its so sad and makes me so angry. the way my sister in law and my nephew were treat is disgusting.

i'm so glad your daughter is well and with you.

i have set up a petition to try and get the 24 weeks policy rule lifted and also to get birth & death certificates issued for these babies, i will post the link underneath. dont no if it will do any good but i thought its worth a try. thanks for your story i defenatly agree there needs to be more awareness on this situation xxxxx

https://www.facebook.com/BabiesBornBefore24WeeksDeserveTheChance2Live?ref=nf

thats the petition link you will have to copy and paste it if you want to sign its not coming up as a link just to click on lol thanks again xx

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23 Comments

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Kendall - posted on 01/25/2013

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Hi there i just wanted to responed to a post about helping premature babies.
My twin sisters where born 1 day off of 24 weeks they did not get any help off of the hospital what so ever. The hospital would not intervine because they where not 24 weeks. Sadly due to this happening they are not here today. The way you get treated is as if they are not babies yet which is so not true. something has to be done to give these babies a chance. My sisters didnt get that chance but hopefully if we try and make changes other babies can.xxxxx

Chrissie - posted on 12/20/2012

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I went into labor at 21 weeks with an abrupted bag leaking. The hospital and staff said there was nothing they could do and they (under the hospital guidelines) couldn't do anything for a pregnancy under 24 weeks. I fought and held onto my pregnancy in the hospital. My son was born exactly one week later at just 22 weeks on August 16, 2010 weighing only 581 grams and 12 inches long. Today he is full of energy and a smile that goes for days. He is a rare exception. I know how blessed I am. I'm hoping my son's life changes minds (and standards) on the rules of "survivability".

[deleted account]

Hi I am sorry to hear about that. My dughter was not born before 24 weeks. She was born at 26 weeks and weighed 15 ounces not even a pound. She was extremely ill and we stayed in the hospital for 5 months due to all her complications. I met many mothers who had 23 week old babies there and to be honest the ones that I seen have done well, the main problem has been lung issues. I mean I have seen some not survive which is horrible.

Cassana - posted on 01/27/2011

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I have not been on here for ages but i have just read all of the posts again, thank you to those of you have responded and have been open about your experiences with your tiny little ones. it is inspirational the strength that these babies and parents have. this is one of the hardest and most difficult times life can throw at you but you all show great strength. I send all my best wishes to all of you and your strong little ones who made it through this tough time and my thoughts are with those everywhere who were not so fortunate. I hope that somewhere along the line these doctors, midwives and neonatologists can learn that mum really does know best, and maybe we deserve a little more respect.
thankyou again to you all and may 2011 be happy and healthy for you all! xx

Brandy - posted on 01/26/2011

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that is such a miracle that you were able to get the help you needed after all of that horror i wouldnt have known what to do in that situation and probably wouldve lost the baby due to stress! i was very lucky with my little one, at 26wks i went to the ER in the middle of the night because i ate some meatloaf that didnt agree with me and i couldnt stop vomiting fortunatly they discovered that i had help syndrome and i was squaded to a larger hospital, before i left my dr told me it was too late for the baby but if they didnt get me to hospital i would die, i was immediatly hooked up to the mag and by the time i got to the hospital i almost died from an overdose of it after shots and tests and a couple weeks i was moved out of the icu and then they discovered there was bad cord blood flow and i had an emergency c-section at 28wks jenna was 2lbs which is why she was considered a micro preemie and even though i couldnt keelp her alive inside of me she fought 3 months in the nicu, (so obviously she had the will to live) anyway she will be 2 in feb and although she was behind and did not meet alot of her milestones shes now advanced compared to alot of full term babies! how could a hospital deny life like that?! its insane! oh and if you havent already check out moms of micro preemies we need some more people on there

Cassana - posted on 11/14/2009

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Quoting jade:

  I would love to help try and make a awareness of situations like your! Gosh that really makes me upset you had to go threw that! How is your little peanut doing?


Hey, thankyou, all these teeny babies are miracles and I was so upset to be told what I was and to be spoken to in the way that I was spoken to. I have heard recently of a woman who had a previous 24 weeker and they had survived perfectly healthy and then she went into labour at 23 weeks and 3 days and they wouldn't help her. Her baby survived several hours without any medical help but they refused any medical intervention and her poor baby passed away hours later. This story really shook me as this happened at the same hospital that I was originally at, and it makes me so angry for those women as I know that if she had been directed to the next nearest hospital she would have been helped. It's just so awful. The sad thing is is that the neonatal doctors very rarely know that a woman has come in at that gestation and therefor it's pretty much the midwives who decide and they are not 'baby doctors' so why should they be handing out this information. I'm thinking of going to the local papers etc and trying to get this problem out in the open. My baby girl is doing really really well, we're just keeping our fingers crossed that her progress continues this well! maybe we'll even have her home for christmas!! how lovely that would be. How's your baby doing now? you must be very proud that they have been such a strong baby to make it through all of that!! :)



xx

Cassana - posted on 11/14/2009

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Quoting jade:

  I would love to help try and make a awareness of situations like your! Gosh that really makes me upset you had to go threw that! How is your little peanut doing?


Hey, thankyou, all these teeny babies are miracles and I was so upset to be told what I was and to be spoken to in the way that I was spoken to. I have heard recently of a woman who had a previous 24 weeker and they had survived perfectly healthy and then she went into labour at 23 weeks and 3 days and they wouldn't help her. Her baby survived several hours without any medical help but they refused any medical intervention and her poor baby passed away hours later. This story really shook me as this happened at the same hospital that I was originally at, and it makes me so angry for those women as I know that if she had been directed to the next nearest hospital she would have been helped. It's just so awful. The sad thing is is that the neonatal doctors very rarely know that a woman has come in at that gestation and therefor it's pretty much the midwives who decide and they are not 'baby doctors' so why should they be handing out this information. I'm thinking of going to the local papers etc and trying to get this problem out in the open. My baby girl is doing really really well, we're just keeping our fingers crossed that her progress continues this well! maybe we'll even have her home for christmas!! how lovely that would be. How's your baby doing now? you must be very proud that they have been such a strong baby to make it through all of that!! :)



xx

Cassana - posted on 11/14/2009

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Quoting jade:

  I would love to help try and make a awareness of situations like your! Gosh that really makes me upset you had to go threw that! How is your little peanut doing?


Hey, thankyou, all these teeny babies are miracles and I was so upset to be told what I was and to be spoken to in the way that I was spoken to. I have heard recently of a woman who had a previous 24 weeker and they had survived perfectly healthy and then she went into labour at 23 weeks and 3 days and they wouldn't help her. Her baby survived several hours without any medical help but they refused any medical intervention and her poor baby passed away hours later. This story really shook me as this happened at the same hospital that I was originally at, and it makes me so angry for those women as I know that if she had been directed to the next nearest hospital she would have been helped. It's just so awful. The sad thing is is that the neonatal doctors very rarely know that a woman has come in at that gestation and therefor it's pretty much the midwives who decide and they are not 'baby doctors' so why should they be handing out this information. I'm thinking of going to the local papers etc and trying to get this problem out in the open. My baby girl is doing really really well, we're just keeping our fingers crossed that her progress continues this well! maybe we'll even have her home for christmas!! how lovely that would be. How's your baby doing now? you must be very proud that they have been such a strong baby to make it through all of that!! :)



xx

Cassana - posted on 11/14/2009

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Hello again ladies and thankyou for all your stories. I am amazed by these stories and how well these babies seem to be, and I hope that there progress continues to be fantastic! My heart truly goes out to those of you who were refused help, I think it is truly appaulling and that those hospitals should be held completely responsible for your loss. I am starting my training next year to become a neonatal nurse and I hope that I will be able to help those parents and babies who are put in that situation. I am also looking into going to local papers etc to try and bring the issue forward as it is becoming a more and more promenant problem.
Again thankyou so much for all your stories, I wish each and everyone of you all the best and hope that something will be done to make this situation more known as soon as possible!
best wishes to you all
cassana xxx

Marcy - posted on 11/13/2009

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I believe it is all in the hospital which you go to. Some hospitals in the US, still will deny you additional help with babies before 24 weeks, but other hospitals will jump thru hoops to make sure you can hold out longer, or do everything to help the baby survive their rough start to life if they do arrive before 24 weeks.

Jessika - posted on 11/12/2009

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Hi, I am mom of a premature baby girl who was born at 23 weeks and 2 days named Laylah. She was 1 lb 5 ozs 12 inchs long. She is truly my miracle and I could have not imagined the doctors telling me they could not help my angel survive. I am glad your baby is fighting for her life. The long road will be very hard not having your baby in your arms but as parents of these so helpless angels we have to be strong for them and be there support. My Laylah is now 1 yr and 9mths old. She is a normal baby girl.

Linda - posted on 11/12/2009

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Hello inthe UK, I am the (Nohnny)of a 22week old baby also known as a Micro-Preemie. She was born weighing 1lb 3oz and iam grateful to the whole entire NICU unit her in the USA. Our baby (MIRACLE) had many issues upon arriving so early, we watched her develope literally out of the womb and thank GOD she is doing fine. Like MIRACLE my 1st. didnt make it, but here we are 3yrs later basking in her and his glory... Wonderful, Vibrant and definitely Active in all she does, A few delays but nothing we cant handle.oreven close to what doctors diagnosed. God bless you and your baby and family...

Natalie - posted on 11/12/2009

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Hi. from uk as well. I know thefeeling!!!!! showed signs of labour at 23 weeks, labour ward refused to admit me!!!!!!! argued with head sister but she just said to call back if bleeding and pains gets worst, 2 hours later waters broke, of course they had to admit me then, then in a freak turn was told that they would have to transfer me to another hospital because the NICU ward was full!!!! baby came few days later. we complained but only got a fob story that sister involved received warning........uk healthcare fir you huh

Emily - posted on 11/12/2009

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Hi, my daughter was born aat 22 weeks and they fought me all the way, I came in dialated to 4.5 and they were unuble to stop it (due to incompotent cervix) I ended up demanding that if they were able to get the breathing tube into her they would try to save her and then we would reevaluate if she had any major brain hemmorging. She made it through with no bleeds and no major issues, and is a healthy happy 6 year old!

Patty - posted on 11/11/2009

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Hi Cassana My Baby was born at 24 weeks and 4days. I had the same problem as you did. It is unfortunate when we have dr's and midwives who don't listen to us. My son was a survivng twin and spent a total of 81 days in the NICU. It was a rollercoaster i tell you. My baby is now 4 months old 7 lbs 12oz and is doing amazingly well for a former 24 weeker. Justt remember momma always knows best!

Naomi - posted on 11/11/2009

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Jade, doctors here wont do "anything" to help you. I had a baby at 30wks at a top US hospital, and she was perfectly healthy, but at delivery made my husband make the decision of to intervene or not if she were to not be well. Thankfully she was fine. But why make a baby stay alive when it doesnt have the will to live

[deleted account]

My little girl was born at 24 weeks. I live in the us the nurse at the hospital was rude and refused to check me. They try tell me any and every thing was wrong with me except labor. When i did get to see the doctor she checked me and chewed the nurses a new one. I was at 5cm. They try everything stop labor but didnt work. I had my little girl on may the 18th she has been in the nicu for almost 6 months but her correct age is 49 weeks.Im glad that you had family you could call and help. I had just moved to ak when i went into labor so all i had was my husband and 8 month old at tha time

Jennifer - posted on 11/11/2009

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i am so sorry that you had to go through that. i went into labor at 22 week and had him at 24 weeks when i went into labor the er doctor was so rude he had me lay on the table and he examenid me and so i am sorry i are going to loose the baby and their is nothing i can do for you. luck had it the nurse rita i will never forget her name said wait iu med center in indy can help her so she called them and they sent the ambulance and i went. they prolonged my labor for 2weeks and then i had damien he weight 1lb and 15oz and now he is seven.

Kelso - posted on 11/10/2009

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That made me cry for you. I have never heard of something like this and it is sad. But I am super happy that you found the help you needed. I had my son at 24 weeks, he was 1 pound 8 ounces. But the kicker is, I had no idea I was pregnant untill the day I went into the hospital and had him. He is a fighter though, he is tough and doing great! I am so happy your baby is doing good also. The only thing bad I experienced was this one nurse. She was very rude and acted like I was lying about not knowing I was pregnant. she even commented right in front of me the second I woke up from my C-section. It really hurt my feelings and made me more angry at myself for not knowing. I talked to another nurse though and she said it was rude and there was no reason to beat myself up cause im not the only one its happened to. I just don't understand why I would lie about not knowing, if I had known I would want to get all the care and medical attention my baby needed.

Jade - posted on 11/10/2009

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Hi there, I can't believe they wouldn't help you like that, It must have been so scary and frustrating for you! I live in the USA and the Doc's here will do anything to help you in a situation like that. My heart goes out to you! But I'm glad to hear you have an auntie who could tell you where to go! My son was born at 24weeks and 3days they couldn't keep him in any longer he was in the NICU for almost 3 months, But he did great he was small and mighty he weighed 1lb and 10oz and 12inch long! He was born on march 21st of 09 so 7 months ago but his correct age is 4months! Its true how many more weeks makes a difference! I would love to help try and make a awareness of situations like your! Gosh that really makes me upset you had to go threw that! How is your little peanut doing?

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