Still completely paranoid that the worst – the unspeakable – will occur to the Seahorse, I take heart from statistics that show the wonderfully positive survival rates of preemies born now, in this day, at the Hartley Seahorse’s fetal age of 25 weeks.
The survival rate for a 25 week preemie is between 50-80% and the chance of a permanent disability is 15-25%. At 27 to 29 weeks, survival rates are above 90% and disability rates are less than 10%. Between 34 and 37 weeks, survival rates are greater than 98% and chances of disability are less than 5%. So even if I were to go into labor soon, this baby will more likely than not survive and be ok in the long-term.
But don’t let my smiling eyes fool you; I have not stopped wringing my hands from worry throughout this pregnancy. This weekend however I breathe a sigh of relief, and rejoice poolside with friends, for to me 25 weeks along is a milestone to be celebrated.
Of course I till stop in my tracks if I feel an alien sensation, and I have learned to watch for signs of pre-term labor. All I know is that if I suspect that labor has begun, Seahorse and I are making a beeline to City Hospital, my chosen hospital to deliver. There’s a good chance that doctors may be able to stop labor or at least delay it a few days while giving me steroids to help the baby’s lungs mature.
Good news is that by week’s end, air sacs (lined with capillaries) will develop in the lungs, getting them ready for that first breath. Surfactant, a substance that will help the lungs expand after birth, is growing too. And speaking of breathing, Seahorse’s tiny nostrils, which have been plugged up until now, are starting to open! 25 is indeed a swell age.