I had planned on waiting a long time to write this post, knowing it may cause a riot. But, since I am accused of saying things, that I never have, I thought now would be a good time to set the record straight.
Also, I really believe that this topic NEEDS to be discussed. If we just sit back and let the current trend continue, it won't be long before 20 weekers are saved. That very thought scares the hell out of me.
All of you out there who have sent me nasty emails, posted about me on your blogs and started threads on preemie groups about me, I dare you to find one post or comment where I said that *all* babies should not be saved before a certain gestation.
I believe parents have the right to choose.
I am very open about my own experience. During my 2nd pregnancy, I made quite sure that everyone knew my wishes. I wanted only comfort care for my son if he was born before 24/25 weeks. Was this an easy decision? Yes. I cried about it for the weeks leading up to that gestation. Of course I wanted my son to live. But, I didn't want him to experience the pain and trauma of the NICU and beyond. I loved him from day one. I am thankful, every single day, that I made it to 35.4 weeks.
Again, I believe parents have the right to choose.
What's wrong with that picture is that most parents are not educated about the true side of prematurity. Beyond the miracle stories we see in the media and the cousin of a neighbor who knows of a 25 weeker, not much is told about the other side. How can anyone make a decision with only 1/2 of the information? The only way that I was able to make this loving decision for my son was because we had already been through it all with my daughter, born at 25.5 weeks.
Did I mention that I believe parents have the right to choose?
But, what happens if parents choose to save their 20 weeker? Should doctors allow it? How about a 21 weeker?
For this reason, and others, I do also believe that there needs to be a limit put on resuscitation. I will honestly say that I do not know what gestation should be the cut off. I am not armed with enough information to make that determination.
I do know that medical science has not caught up to the gestations we are saving even now. If you ask doctors, many of them will say they have a cutoff if their own child was born premature. That speaks volumes!
Ok, fire away. I've put up my shield and I'm ready.