Wednesday, August 30, 2006
A Family Respecting Life
As she reached her third trimester, Teri was confined to bed rest by her obstetrician. She had been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a progressive life threatening condition for the mother and, through dependency, the child. The doctor was challenged to thread the proverbial needle. She had to buy as much developmental time in the womb for Maggie before Teri's condition deteriorated into convulsions and systems failure that would kill both patients.
At 28 weeks gestation for Maggie, Teri's blood and urine indicators mandated an emergency Caesarean section in order to save their lives.
While Teri sloughed off 18 lbs. of water during the next 24 hours, Maggie was in respiratory distress due to her underdeveloped lungs. Meanwhile, the hospital counselor assigned to the family, outlined myriad other possible complications facing a preemie of Maggie's gestational age to an overwhelmed first-time dad. At the very least, Maggie would spend the remaining two and a half months, until her projected "due date," in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Helpless, defenseless offspring have always required nurturing. However, measures once considered extraordinary have become ordinary. Advances in knowledge have helped us to fine tune that nurturing and push back the age of "viability."
The proof is in the pudding. Maggie has, in fact, lived. She is 15 years old as this is written - a wonderful human being!
Posted by Paula at 8:39 PM