- Babies born at 23 weeks gestation have a 17% chance of survival.
- Babies born at 24 weeks gestation have a 39% chance of survival.
- Babies born at 25 weeks gestation have a 50% chance of survival.
- 1 in 10 premature babies will develop permanent disabilities, such as lung disease, cerebral palsy, blindness, or deafness.
- 50% of babies born before the 26th week are disabled; 25% of those severely so.
- There is a greater risk of severe disability and lower cognitive function results for boys compared to girls. This supports the theory that male sex is an important risk factor in extremely premature infants.
- In 2004, 12.5% of US babies were premature (less than 37 weeks). That is an 18% increase over the rate in 1990.
- In Texas, that rate is 13.7%.
- That accounts for 1 in 7 babies.
Through my blogging this past year, I have discovered many other women who are living with children who were very premature. Reading their experiences has made me feel a lot less guilty and a lot MORE blessed. Although he was born at 26 weeks, AJ was growth restricted, and at only 18 ounces, was measuring the size of a 23-weeker.
My world has been blessed with this tiny baby whose life could have turned out so differently. The following ladies have been a true inspiration to me:
- Christy at Following Elias.
- Nicole at Who Cries Over Spilled Milk.
- Kyla at The Journey.
- Katie at Ramblings of an Interrupted Mom.
There are numerous more stories out there available through the March of Dimes. So if you see a small child who maybe seems a little "different" or "small for his age", remember what a survivor he/she may be. Give that little miracle a special smile and a special prayer.