Thanks to PreTRM for sponsoring this post, all opinions are mine.
We're one of the “lucky” ones, I guess. Of the approximately 15 million premature births every year, we're lucky in that Max doesn't have any lasting impact from his prematurity. One in ten babies born in the US are born before 37 weeks; that's the highest rate for the developed world. (If you don't know, Max was born at 28 weeks gestation, weighing 2 lbs, 4.8 oz. By some definitions, he was a micro preemie, weighing less than 1500 grams.)
My pregnancy had been mostly uneventful; the Sunday before he was born (on a Thursday, hence the blog name!) Jamie and I celebrated the 28-week milestone with a trip to the Giants game. I wasn't feeling 100% but thought it was just third trimester swelling and maybe an unrelated migraine that had me feeling cruddy.
I never thought as I posed for those photos with my belly, that those would be the last photos of me pregnant, and that Max would enter the world less than a week later.
The risks for a premature baby are many; you're thrown into a new world where scary words like retinopathy of prematurity, grade 4 brain bleed, bradys, and tachycardia are thrown around, and you're overwhelmed with new information, fear for your baby, and dealing yourself with recovering from the birth.
Know your premature birth risks
PreTRM is the first and only prenatal blood test that is clinically validated to be an excellent predictor of preterm birth in all asymptomatic women who are pregnant with one baby, early in her pregnancy.
Some women are at increased risk and don’t know: 50% of women who go on to have a premature birth have no risk factors. While the best predictor of delivering early is a previous premature birth, 40% of women who have a premature birth are first-time moms.
The PreTRM blood test checks for proteins in the blood that may indicate your risk for delivering early. There are things your doctor can do to help cancel out some of those risks because every day that you can delay delivering increases your baby's chances for a healthy outcome.
There is a specific window when the PreTRM test can be administered, between 19 and 20 weeks, so be sure to talk to your doctor about having the test done. The best thing you can do is arm yourself with as much information as possible.
Have you or someone in your family been touched by premature birth? I'd love to hear your story.