Pregnancy Goals After a Preemie

With my first pregnancy, I assumed I would make it to 40 weeks.  And of course, once I made it exactly to that point, I would then birth a healthy, perfect 7 lb baby.  I had absolutely no reason to believe otherwise.  I had friends with pregnancy complications and whose babies had spent time in the NICU, but I couldn’t imagine that possibly happening to me.  Then my daughter was born at 32 weeks, and my whole outlook shifted.

Now that I’m pregnant with my second baby, I am very aware of the risks involved with my pregnancy.  I’m always conscious of my symptoms and what they could potentially mean.  I go to bed every night praying that this baby will make it to full term.  Or at least further than my first did.

I don’t know if it’s a coping mechanism, but I’ve broken this pregnancy down into a series of goals.  Goals that I, of course, have very little control over achieving.  But that doesn’t stop me from feeling accomplished every time I hit one of them.  {I’m currently working toward goal four.}

Goal One :: 14 weeks

This was my first goal, and it honestly flew by.  I knew if I could just make it through the first trimester, the threat of miscarriage would lesson significantly.   I think a lot of pregnant women celebrate this milestone.  I definitely breathed a little easier at this point, but I was already looking ahead to the challenges that still needed to be met.

Goal Two :: 20 weeks

The halfway point.  I had an anatomy scan and was able to see my growing baby on the ultrasound screen.  I felt a huge amount of reassurance that everything looks healthy.  It got slightly easier at this point just by feeling my baby move on a more consistent basis and knowing that he’s doing alright in there.  But that just made me more anxious to reach the next goals.

Goal Three :: 26 weeks

I’m now at a huge goal – 26 weeks.  This is viability.  If my baby were born right now, he’d have a chance.  I have no doubt it would be an uphill battle full of setbacks and an extended NICU stay.  But there would be a 90% chance of survival.  And that alone lets me breathe easier.

I specifically remember this milestone when I was pregnant with my daughter.  I commented on how cool it was that science could allow a tiny baby that was born so prematurely the chance to live.  But I didn’t really appreciate it at the time.  Now that I am a preemie momma, I have a completely new level of respect for the capabilities of the doctors and nurses that care for these babies born so early.  More than that, I’m so very grateful for them.

Goal Four :: 32 weeks

My next goal is 32 weeks, when my daughter was born.  I know we’d still be guaranteed a NICU stay, but at least I’ve walked that road before.  I know what health issues could arise, approximately how long our stay would last, and what to expect when he came home from the NICU.

Goal Five :: Full Term

This is my ultimate goal this time.  Even though I have walked the road with a preemie and a NICU stay, I want to pave a new path.  I want to go to full term and have that big, healthy baby.  I want to complain about being huge and pregnant and “so ready to just have this baby.”  While I know everyone has their own definition of normal, I want this to be my normal.

Pregnancy Goals After a Preemie | Houston Moms Blog

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