You may have heard by now that a brain-dead woman gave birth yesterday. The baby, born between 24 and 25 weeks of gestation, weighs just 1 pound 13 ounces (this is pretty close to the average 25-week fetus, but the average full-term baby weighs approximately 7 1/2 pounds).
It was stories like this one that sustained me throughout the darkest moments in the last half of my pregnancy with my son. It didn’t matter that the two pregnancies I had lost ended before I reached the 10th week and never had a chance. I spent much of my pregnancy in fear of losing my baby. I can’t count the number of times I closed the door to my office and wept because I hadn’t felt movement for a couple of hours and no amount of cold fluid and being still would provoke that little boy into a simple kick. I remember the story about the smallest baby ever – born at 8.6 ounces – leaving the hospital in Chicago when I was about 25 weeks pregnant, and being reassured (my baby was already two pounds at that time, according to the ultrasound).
I know that late losses do occur, and that sometimes nothing can be done to prevent them. But anything that gave me hope was something to be grateful for.