Thursday, 25 June 2009

living Hope - born at 23 weeks gestation

By Loisann Fowler

As a pregnant mother at 23 weeks gestation I was completely asymptomatic when labor started. After giving me the drug to attempt to stop labor, it was determined by amniocentesis that there were at least 4 known bacteria in the amniotic fluid.

The baby was very sick and could not survive in the womb. In fact, the doctor told me the baby had a better chance at surviving outside the womb than within.

I was told that the likelihood of her surviving was very slim. The drug had only slightly slowed labor anyway; the baby wanted out. So pitocin was started and within a few minutes our 510 gram baby girl was born. That is 1 pound 2 ounces, and she was 11 inches long. A team of neonatologists and NICU nurses were ready in waiting.

However, before they rolled her away, the neonatologist asked me if I wanted to touch her. He wheeled her isolette beside my bed and I touched her little hairless head. Her arms moved toward her head and I placed my pinky finger on her delicate hand. To my amazement, she tightly wrapped her hand around my finger and squeezed. This was the beginning of Hope's incredible battle.

There were never any promises made by the staff, only the truth wrapped in patient love and professional wisdom. It was a long and rocky road of life and death moments. For four long months she grew inside of an isolette instead of my womb. No life saving measure was ignored. She was given the best of care. All of her organs were developed and operating at 23 weeks except the lungs. A ventilator breathed the breath of life for her while she grew in strength and size. And she survived! We took Hope home 4 months after the day she was born; a whopping 4 pounds.

Today, December 17 2004, she is a 7 year old preparing for Christmas; with all the joy and enthusiasm this brings. A petite 49 pounds, Hope is as strong as an ox. She has no fear. She jumps from any height, runs without inhibition, climbs to the highest point and loves to go 'faster' at anything that has momentum. She only has hearing in one ear, one leg grows slower than the other (for which she wears a lift on one shoe), and she wears glasses for extreme nearsightedness while having no peripheral vision due to surgery to save her sight. Hope has no inclination that any of these things are handicaps in any way. She loves to draw, sing, play the piano, put together puzzles, play games, jump into her older brothers' arms with reckless abandon and is rarely motionless. Often her last question before going to sleep is, "What's for breakfast?"

Without a doubt life begins at conception. Hope's life began at conception. Her entire family and everyone whom she has ever met rejoices that life was pursued upon her early arrival into this world. Hope is extremely generous and has a tender, sensitive heart toward others. The world would be missing a wonderful gift had her life not been prized.


Above is a recent photo of Hope. Unfortunately many abortions are carried out at 23 weeks gestation (when Hope was born). This is very sad. If you are considering an abortion PLEASE think again. If you have had an abortion, please know that there is forgiveness in One Jesus Christ. But you have to get right with Him - click here to find out more


  1. hi my name is jasmine my baby was born 3 weeks ago at 23 weeks im just wondering what to expect...

  2. i had a baby at 20 wks so ihad a rough time to


  4. I love this story!!
    it gives hope too any mother who may have doubt in there precious angel, if they are born this early!
    God bless you!

  5. This story brings me so much hope. As I look over the pictures my heart jump for joy and I truly feel that my 23 weeker will also be just fine!! By the Grace of GOD my angel will make it!! Thank You for sharing your story!

  6. This story brings back alot of memories for myself. I too had a baby boy at 23wks gestation. He weighed 1lb 2oz and was 11 and quarter inches long. He was born Jan 28, 2009 stated in the NICU for four months came home a few days after his orginial due date. He came home May 31, 2009 weigh 4lbs 7oz. He came home on oxygen and monitors and later got rid of those in Nov. 2009. Today May 20, 2012 he is a healthy 3 yr old. He has no complications and attends pre-K four days a week. I thank God everyday for my miracle and all the NICU Nurses and Neonatologist at Centennial Women's Hospital in Nashville, TN...