by angieb (1193 Posts), Tue Dec 06, 2011 04:12 pm
I understand where you are coming from, believe me, I have been there. Our daughter was born at 23+2 but due to severe growth restriction, she only weighed 10.5 ounces. They actually transferred me hospitals in an ambulance because we started at one with only a basic NICU, in the hopes that they could save her. This was one of the parts of her birth and death that was the hardest for me to come to grips with
Gestational age is almost as important as weight, if not more important, a lot of lung development doesn't even start happening until 24 weeks. That's probably why many/most hospitals don't consider a baby "viable" until 24 weeks. We were told by my mfm before my second pregnancy that they won't even give me steroid shots for lung development until 24 wks at least.
I know that doesn't make it any easier. And I know I will always wonder how it might have been different.
But even for 24 weekers, it is very very very iffy. And most often, the 24 weekers that do survive have extremely serious health problems. I know that we wouldn't love her any less, but after seeing my uncle who fought brain cancer and "won" go steadily downhill over the years to now be at a point where he can barely move, can't feed himself, can no longer use the bathroom, can't remember anything or anyone, can barely hear even with heavy duty hearing aids and practically screaming in his ears, and has horrible vision- if saving Olivia would have given her a life like that, I'm glad we just let her go. There are so many micropreemies who go through so much, vents, iv's, etc. etc. only to die a few days or even hours later, if Olivia was going to die regardless of what life-saving measures they provided, then I'm glad we didn't put her through that. ...I know there are so many "if's" and that is what makes it the hardest, because there's always the good if's too lingering in your mind (what if they had tried, and succeeded, and she was able to be relatively normal...) but the overwhelming odds are that if they had tried, they would have failed to ultimately save her, and if they had saved her, her quality of life would have been extremely poor. We have members here who had to make the decision to remove life support for their baby after tests showed no brain function, and I am thankful that at least we were spared that. But there have been times that I have bitterly resented that we were never even given a chance.
It took me at least a year, probably more like a year and a half, to get to a place where I am at peace with them letting her go. (And maybe it's because I have no choice if I want to let go of that resentment.) I feel like in the long run, it was the kindest thing for Olivia, a life with no needles, or tubes, or hopefully not any pain. Prolonging her life most likely would have not been successful and if by some miracle it was successful, she would not have had much if any quality of life. And if she was going to ultimately die no matter what happened, I'm glad that we let her go the kindest way possible.
I definitely still have my moments even more than 2 years later, but mostly I am at peace with at least this part of it. But it took me a long time to get there. I had the same questions and a lot of anger and bitterness for at least the first 6 months, especially about this part.
I am so sorry that Molly is not here. I am thinking of you.
Me (29) DH (30)
#1-Olivia Caetlyn-9-28-09-9-28-09, 23+2 wks, emergency classic c-section, class I HELLP, IUGR
#2- Lucas Oliver (rainbow baby)- April 2011, 36+2 wks, HELLP and pre-e free! (lovenox and LDA pregnancy)
#3-Matthew, late October 2012...mostly normal, 37 wks, (lovenox and LDA again)
My blog: http://www.butterflies-and-rainbows.blogspot.com/