23 Weeks 1 Day
We have good news and difficult news. Again, today is a day I don’t feel much like updating the blog but I know if my family and friends know what is going on they can pray extra hard for our boys.
Jake is at the 50th percentile for growth, weighing in at 1 pound 5 ounces. His MVP was at 6.1. The best it has been so far. He is doing GREAT!
Ben is at the 17th percentile for growth, weighing in at 14.5 ounces. Doctors say normal range of growth is between the 10th and 90th percentile, so we are pleased with the 17th percentile. At our 17-week appointment Ben was at the 5th percentile, so this is a LOT better. His MVP was at 4.5, which was his best reading so far. Ben’s doppler reading was abnormal again which continues to be our biggest concern. He has intermittent absent end diastolic flow. Fortunately, it has not changed but obviously we would like to see a normal blood flow.
All in all, things are about where they were last week.
Our doctor told us as we approach viability we need to prepare for all possible outcomes. This was not an easy conversation to have. If Ben stops growing or gets really sick in the next 4 weeks or so, we have to make a very difficult decision. He told us that every appointment we come to from now on we have to be prepared to make a decision. In our hearts we truly believe Ben is going to be just fine but I guess we need to be prepared for all scenarios.
Basically, we will deliver based on Ben’s progress. The problem is that if Ben begins to have problems at lets say week 24 and we need to deliver, this will also put Jake in jeopardy. Jake would then have to be delivered when Ben does despite how well he may be doing. Some people feel this is unfair to the bigger baby and the doctor suggested if it comes to this, we could do a cord ligation. This means we would clamp Ben’s cord, only allowing Jake to survive and continue to grow. This is very difficult for me to write about let alone actually consider. The doctor told us this is 100% our decision. Obviously, Kevin and I are hoping we never have to make this decision and that Ben will continue to grow. We have faith in God and know he ultimately decides the fate of our babies. I believe that every time Ben gives me a little kick he is telling me “Mom, I am ok!!!”
Below you will find survival statistics for various gestational ages. Each week that passes increases our chances of survival and quality of life.
General Survival Statistics:
Babies born at 23 weeks have a 20% to 40% chance of survival, if they weigh over 1 pound 2 ounces (500 grams). If they weigh less than 1 pound 2 ounces, the chance of survival is closer to 10% or less.
Babies born at 24 weeks have a 60% to 70% chance of survival, if they weigh more than 1 pound 10 ounces (750 grams). If they weigh less than 1 pound 10 ounces, then chance of survival is around 50% to 60%.
Babies born at 25 weeks have a 70% to 80% chance of survival.
Babies born at 26 weeks have a 80% to 90% chance of survival.
General estimations about the chances of long-term handicaps (as defined on the first page):
23 weeks: (less than 1 pound 2 ounces)There is very little information on these babies. It is safe to assume that almost all will have some degree of handicap. Probably about 50% of them will have mild to moderate handicaps and the other 50% will have severe handicaps. Rarely, is an infant born this early and this small, normal.
23 weeks: (over 1 pound 2 ounces)About 25% of these babies will be normal, 25% will have mild handicaps, and 25% will have moderate handicaps, and 25% will have severe handicaps.
24 weeks: About 25% will be normal, 30% will have mild handicaps, 25% will have moderate handicaps, and 20% will have severe handicaps.
25 weeks: About 30% to 40% of these babies will be normal and 30% to 40% will have only mild handicaps. About 10% to 20% will have moderate handicaps and 10% to 20% will have have severe handicaps.
26 weeks: About 70% to 80% of these babies will be normal, 5% to 10% will have mild handicaps, 5% to 10% will have moderate handicaps, and 5% to 10% will have severe handicaps.
The doctor said the outcome for our babies is very unpredictable. We see “unpredictable” as a good thing. Several doctors have told us “this will progress” and “it is an absolute that you have TTTS” and so far we have not followed suit. These days I tend to go with what I feel in my heart versus what the doctors tell me. My heart seems to be on target so far!
We appreciate every email, phone call, and prayer. I apologize if I have not kept up with returning calls/emails lately. Just know your kind words are always appreciated!!!!