Sunday, February 25, 2007

Feeling Conflicted

As most of you know, I am going to reach 24 weeks on Tuesday. This is considered to be my first "goal" because it is at this point that the baby actually has a chance of survival. However, the baby's lungs, brain, and I'm not sure what else aren't fully developed at this time. A baby born this early would spend countless days/weeks/months in the NICU. One precautionary measure that the doctors often take is that of injecting the mom with a shot of steroids to assist the baby with developing a little faster.

My favorite Dr. Sunshine had mentioned that we would inject steroids as soon as I made it to 24 weeks, however when I asked my doctor about this he said we wouldn't unless we absolutely had to. I interpreted that as we did not want to make such a decision in haste and unless I started going into rapid pre-term labor that we wouldn't do it. This morning, the on call doctor came in and was ready to administer the shots today and tomorrow. He explained that it took 48 hours to take effect, and we wanted to do everything we could do to insure this baby had a chance in case I went into pre-term labor.

I didn't feel comfortable getting the shots when I haven't even had a lengthy conversation with my own doctor about it. I have found myself very conflicted about it all though. I think part of my fear is emotionally based - if I get the shots then it is as if we are all assuming that I won't make it into the high 30's which is my personal goal. However, what if Ido go into pre-term labor at 29 or 30 weeks? If I haven't given the baby every opportunity to be more developed then how can I sleep at night? What if I do make it to 36 or 38 weeks and my baby has developed typically - will there be adverse effects to having given her the steroids? Is this all a no-brainer decision? I just don't know the answers to any of these questions.

I'm so confused and so conflicted. Just feeling overwhelmed and not sure how to process all of this. I will talk with my doctor tomorrow and hopefully gain more insight. Until then, please pray that I will find peace this evening and rest well as I may be faced with making this decision tomorrow.


Jonathan Webb said...

Will the steroids make early labor more likely?

Ashley said...

No. They are just to be a safety net in helping the baby develop a
little earlier in case I go into preterm labor. Many women get the
shots and still make it to 34, 36, and even 38 weeks.

I'll talk with my doctor tomorrow and hopefully get more insight. I will totally
trust his recommendation.

The Ironic Catholic said...

I hope the conversation with the doctor (NOT Sunshine) is calming and enlightening. Praying for those things, plus 37 weeks!

--IC (with Angelmeg, one of the Korrektiv mascots, but don't hold it against me)