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Infant Survival Rates during Pregnancy

Updated on March 28, 2015
photo above ~ my son in the NICU All photos and text on this page belong to Cari_Kay unless otherwise noted.
photo above ~ my son in the NICU All photos and text on this page belong to Cari_Kay unless otherwise noted.

Baby Survival Rates by Weeks Gestation

When I was pregnant with my son, my pregnancy was a series of complications. I was high risk. My uterus is bicornuate (although we did not know that until my c-section). I bled heavily throughout the second trimester. My physician believed my son had Down Syndrome. They told me twice during the second trimester that I was most likely miscarrying. The list went on. As a result, everybody, myself included, believed, at the very least, my son would be a preemie.

Of course, like any expecting mother, this worried me tremendously. I ended up finding a chart on infant survivability rates when I was about 20 weeks and kept it posted next to my computer. While this chart might worry some women, for me it provided solace.

Once I got to 22 weeks, I knew there was hope and each week that hope grew.

A Word of Caution: I don't know what your situation is. This chart is meant to provide comfort. If this type of page causes you stress, you should close this page immediately. Some women have a serious risk of having a premature delivery and each week that goes by gives a bit more comfort and that is the intention of this page!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. The information I share is meant to supplement the information given you by your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not doing enough for you or not willing to listen to your concerns, I strongly encourage you to take what you've learned here and get a second opinion.

One in eight babies in the United States is born prematurely

Premature Baby
Premature Baby | Source

Infant Survivability Rates

by gestational week when born*

Up until 21 weeks: 0% survival rate

at 22 weeks: 0-10% survival rate

at 23 weeks: 10-35% survival rate

at 24 weeks: 40-70% survival rate

at 25 weeks: 50-80% survival rate

at 26 weeks: 80-90% survival rate

at 27 weeks: greater than 90% survival rate

---- ---- ---- ----

* according to the March of Dimes

"Big things often have small beginnings"

— unknown

Some Thoughts About Those Numbers

and a quiz you can take

As you can see, each week you can keep your baby in there, you will increase his or her odds of survival.

Unfortunately, a number of the babies born before 25 weeks do not survive very long after the birth but it is important to note that a number of them do survive.

The Neonatal Research Network has a quick quiz you can take if your infant is a very early preemie (up until 25 weeks). You put in your infants information (i.e. gestational age, birth weight, sex, etc...) and you can compare similar outcomes (i.e. survival rates, impairments, etc...).

While there's life, there's hope.

"James Elgin Gill (born on 20 May 1987 in Ottawa, Canada) was the earliest premature baby in the world. He was 128 days premature (21 weeks and 5 days gestation) and weighed 1 pound 6 ounces (624 g). He survived and is quite healthy."

Read his story:

Some Extreme Preemies in the News

Yes, even before 25 weeks, there can be hope.

(September 2014) Note: since my pages have migrated to Hubpages, I know a lot of links are no longer visible. I will be updating this soon. Thank you!


Smallest Baby Boy a Marvel to Medical History

Born at 25 weeks, little Jonathan was smaller than most micro-preemies born before 24 weeks. Today, he is a happy, healthy four year old.

Miracle baby growing up

Although little Tage was born at 26 weeks. his mother's water broke at only 16 weeks. Just a sweet story about his life five years later.

Extremely premature babies: 'We wondered if it was right to let him live'

This mother struggled when her baby was born at 24 weeks.

Most Premature Set of UK Twins Ever Survives, Born at 23 Weeks

Boy Born Micro Preemie Enjoys 1st Thanksgiving

19-month-old Owen had his first Thanksgiving at home.

Parents' gift to hospital honors 'unbelievable' premature baby

This couple gives back to their hospital.

Preemie twins beating the odds

Preemie twins born at 23 weeks are beating the odds!

Charlotte baby one of world's tiniest; 9.6 ounces at birth

Baby Kenna will soon be going home!

Hospital envisions normal life for preemie facing blindness

born at only 23 weeks, little Alyssa is undergoing treatment to save her eyesight.

Poor Health Linked to Very Preemie Birth Stabilizes by Adolescence

An article about the Ronald McDonald house and the Hartley family. Their son was born at just 23 1/2 weeks.

Housing helps family An article about the Ronald McDonald house and the Hartley family. Their son was born at just 23 1/2 weeks.

World's Youngest Baby Born In Miami "So tiny that many doctors would have let the baby die: meet Melinda Star Guido, 9.5 ounces at birth"

Grady's smallest preemie growing up beautifully An update, three years later, on little Gracie Lynn who was born at just 22 weeks.

Julene's story born at just 25 weeks. A good article on the importance of 'kangaroo care'.

and, possibly, the most famous preemie right now

Josie Duggar story born at only 25 weeks while the world watches.

These are just a few of the stories out there. If you do a google search, you'll find many more.

"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

— Winnie the Pooh

Some Positive News Stories

about extreme preemies

if a link is broken, please, leave a comment and I'll remove the link. Thank you!

Parents of micro preemie defy the odds to raise son with some help from the Internet

"Today, readers will find the blog littered with pictures of Super Jack, now almost 5 years old. Not only did he defy the doctors’ 5 percent survival rate, but today Jack can see, hear, walk and communicate."

'Extreme preemies' mostly do catch up

"...they scored the same on measures of self-esteem and life satisfaction as those who were normal weight at birth."

Most 'Extreme Preemies' Grow Into Happy, Healthy Teens

Read this article and knew I needed to share it. According to this study, extreme preemies are more likely to be self confident and not engage in risky behaviors as teenagers.

More 'Extreme' Preemies Surviving

Advances in medical care now mean that more and more extreme preemies are now surviving their first year.

Oxygen Treatment May Improve the Odds for Extreme Preemies

Follow-up study found it helped more preemies make it to toddlerhood

Symptoms of Preterm Labor

talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms

* Low backache

* Contractions occurring, on average, every 10 minutes or less

* Cramps - can feel like your period or intestinal

* Leaking fluid or vaginal discharge

* Bleeding

* Pressure in lower abdominal area

* Feeling ill

Articles on Preventing Pre-Term Labor

Blood test to warn of premature birth 'could help thousands of mothers-to-be

Avoiding Premature Labor's page talks a bit about detecting the signs of possible preterm labor.

Can You Prevent Preterm Labor?'s take on preventing early labor.

Premature Labor: How to Prevent It Doing your best to keep your baby in its uterine home until it's ready to face the world.

Are you pregnant?

See results

I would love to hear from you. Your comments may help others going through the same scare or worry. Thank you!

If I don't reply to you here, please feel free to e-mail me directly at


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    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 3 years ago

      Oh Amanda, I am so very sorry. My heart just hurts for you. I remember being panicked about going into labor early and that nothing might be done. I don't know what you can do but I think speaking to an attorney might be a good thing. I just can't believe they didn't even try to help your little one. ((((hugs))))

    • profile image

      Amanda 3 years ago

      I was pregnant with twin boys. My membranes ruptured and started coming out I had a cervical stitch put in prior at three months of pregnancy I went into full labour at 22 weeks and 4 days. My stitch ripped and I gave birth to my son bum first and he was still born 24 hours later no one was in the room I was told to push by a lady who came in who I didn't know but she was a obyn and then I delivered my second boy in his sack without the water breaking he was live she told me to hold him close for I only had a minute with him. she leaves after I cut his cord gives him to me I held him he was squeezing my fingers and I can see him gasping for air very small short breaths I begged for the nurse in there to help him she said docs orders he's to young 2 hours later my son is still alive his heart beating without medical attention they waited for him to pass and he did at 2 1/2 hours later. I feel that if they would have helped my son he would be here today I need some advice was this clearly mal practice? And what can I do?

    • sarita garg profile image

      sarita 3 years ago from Hisar

      This is a real full of information lens. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • socialcx1 profile image

      socialcx1 4 years ago

      Wonderful and informative lens.Thanks

    • profile image

      tahirmahmood 4 years ago


    • seodress profile image

      seodress 4 years ago

      Awareness is essential for precautionary measures.

    • Sara2901 profile image

      Sara2901 4 years ago

      Well written. Thanks

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Very informative! Highly recommended! Thank you for sharing this!

    • profile image

      Margot_C 4 years ago

      Thanks for creating such an informative lens that I'm sure is a great help to women struggling with this issue. Miscarriages are a devastating thing and you've provided some great resources here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Really helpful for mothers. Thanks for helping us!

    • FCAbroad profile image

      FCAbroad 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      Very interesting . Thanks.

    • jayavi profile image

      jayavi 4 years ago

      Very useful lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      I am so happy to hear that your miscarriages were not miscarriages after all, but two new babies instead.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 4 years ago

      @JoleneBelmain: Congratulations to you on your little one and being a new Aunt! Very exciting. You know, I have to wonder if maybe your friend has a tilted uterus? I have seen, over and over, that women with a tilted uterus are often told they are one to two weeks behind and so their babies are usually 'early'.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image

      JoleneBelmain 4 years ago

      My sister just had a baby last night, and I had one 4 1/2 months ago, although ours were not preemie at all. I know someone who has had a baby within the past 10 months that had a preemie. She has 3 kids and all of them have been born 3 weeks early, and for her that's just the norm. They all did very well growing up though.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 4 years ago

      @Loretta L: Thank you!

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      I'm so pleased that you went on to have the baby. Delighted for you.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: That is so exciting. Congratulations to you and thank you. Off to find you page :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Stopping back to pick this up to feature on My Daughter Nikki Had A Baby Born Face First page, thank you! She's coming due with my newest granddaughter and I'm so excited!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      FB love....and congratulations on your pretty purple star.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 4 years ago

      @TapIn2U: Thank you!

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you so much. Happy Easter to you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My eyes teared up when I saw the chart and could feel the faith that rose up in you....the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen....may many find strong encouragement here! Beautifully presented. :)

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 4 years ago

      You have helped a lot of people with your lens. Keep sharing them. Sundae ;-)

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 4 years ago

      @PenelopeAnne LM: That is just so good to hear! Thank you for sharing!

    • PenelopeAnne LM profile image

      PenelopeAnne LM 4 years ago

      Great lens. I work at a "baby hospital". We deliver the most babies of any hospital in our (U.S.) state and we have the highest level Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the state. One of our own NICU nurses went into labor at 24 weeks. Her son was 12 oz. at birth. He's now a happy, healthy 2 year old. Medicine does amazing things now days.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 4 years ago

      @LiliLove: Thank you!

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      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you for sharing this information. I'm sure it has helped many people.

    • LiliLove profile image

      LiliLove 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens! I was at risk during my second pregnancy but everything went well. My son was born at 38 weeks. Thank you for sharing your story, Kay. Blessed by a Squid Angel :)!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I hope that the survival rates in developing countries get better, too.

    • drmork profile image

      drmork 4 years ago

      Great lens! Thank you for this!

    • profile image

      KennethCassi 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens! It's good to know the survival rates. It's great that because of modern technology we could drastically improve the survival rates of these babies.

    • lilantz profile image

      lilantz 5 years ago

      Very good lens. My friend had a c-section on her first baby and thanks to that her baby survived.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 5 years ago from US/TN

      Saw you also complained in the forum about the "You Might Also Like..." section. You can get rid of it by adding "related lenses". Look for the Related Lenses tab when you edit your intro module for the lens. Then click the "on" option and add one or more of your lenses to the list. :-)

    • bedrestbuddy profile image

      bedrestbuddy 5 years ago

      Beautifully crafted lens. Thank you!

    • ZenSquid profile image

      ZenSquid 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very useful this is one of the most wonderful lenses

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      Absolutely remarkable. I lost a baby as well, and nothing, and I do mean nothing can compare to that pain. I'm not a squid angel, but bless you for doing this story.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 5 years ago from US

      Just popping back over with a blessing. Take care ;)

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      @ChristmasWithKids: So heartbreaking. I cannot even imagine what that was like. I do think mom's intuition is so important during pregnancy and the doctors who listen are gems!

    • ChristmasWithKids profile image

      ChristmasWithKids 5 years ago

      We lost a baby daughter at 39+ weeks. That pregnancy had also been fraught with difficulties. Your lens helps couples realize how important it is to know the facts about infant survival during pregnancy AS WELL as to listen to their own intuition about how a given pregnancy is faring. Thank you. Great lens.

    • GetPregnantFAQ LM profile image

      GetPregnantFAQ LM 5 years ago

      This is a very tough subject. Thank you for addressing it for other parents who are worried. I am so very glad your son is okay. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My son is 15 years old , who raised him alone .My parents did not help me , I learned many things from friends .However, this book helped me through many difficult things .

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you so much for this fascinating information. I am sure it will help many young women.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: I've talked to a few women who went on to become pregnant after their spouse had a vasectomy. I'm so glad all turned out well. I have no doubt she is a total blessing!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      My youngest daughter was a miracle conception - post vasectomy. I had tons of complications during the pregnancy - every day that went by was a true gift. She was born full term on her due date by c-section and I thank God every day she's in my life.

    • profile image

      dessertlover 5 years ago

      Very interesting and informational post here.

    • profile image

      Ankushvchoudhary 5 years ago

      Thanks for post great lens!!!

    • Lorri123 profile image

      Lorri123 5 years ago

      Wow , what an amazing Lense -- you have a beautiful son too.

    • KandH profile image

      KandH 5 years ago

      A friend had a baby last week but was in the hospital for 4 weeks struggling before the birth - the little one is doing ok now, but wasn't due until mid-Feb so it was very worrying the first few days. Mum just went home 2 days ago and I know it was really hard having to leave the little one in the hospital. Parenting really is a privilege - thanks for sharing.

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      oraisoopoopo 5 years ago

      I hope all babies in the world survives :D

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 5 years ago

      Very thoughtful lense!

    • LiliLove profile image

      LiliLove 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your story. Hugs!

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      @BLouw: I love hearing stories like this! Thank you!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      I also had some problems which were, like yours, unusual and despite research in University hospital library, there was little information. I turned to the internet for help and found the experiences of other mothers so helpful. My preemie son is now 15 and bigger than me so there is some hope.

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      CristianStan 5 years ago

      Infant survival rate has a lot to do with mother's diet, and if she is balancing out her nutrition

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Wonderful lens and information on preemies. I cannot imagine going through this. I was a lucky one who was not at any risk for pre-mature birth. However, I do think that if I was at risk having that chart hanging by my side would be a benefit and give me hope as each week passed. Thanks for sharing your insight on such a delicate topic.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great lens :)

    • Emaily LM profile image

      Emaily LM 5 years ago

      Thanks for liking my Popular Styles of Wedding Hair, Brides Need to Know. Happy Halloween!!!!

    • reginaaj2gerica profile image

      reginaaj2gerica 5 years ago

      I love this page. I wasn't as fortunate as you were, my baby did not survive, but I was blessed with three more angels. Your story will certainly give an expectant mother hope. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • sleepless25 profile image

      sleepless25 5 years ago

      I like this page and it's full of info. I will forward this along to the love of my life who is 6 months pregnant with our baby boy

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      @shohag201: I am so sorry for you loss.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Back to refresh my angel dust - and send this wonderful page out by facebook.

    • profile image

      shohag201 5 years ago

      We have helpful here. we did not have anything like scans so I lost them. They suffered punctured lung each through difficult.see ......

    • profile image

      shohag201 5 years ago

      We have helpful here. we did not have anything like scans so I lost them. They suffered punctured lung each through difficult.see ......

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I remember well the relief that every week of pregnancy brought. This is such a tender issue. Blessings.

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      diannefalcone 5 years ago

      I have a bicornuate uterus as well and bled heavily during my first trimester. My daughter was born at 28 weeks at 1lb 15oz. Today she is a happy and healthy 6 year old. I'm currently pregnant with my 2nd child and hopeful that I can carry longer than 28 weeks.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      It is helpful to others that are pregnant now. I was like you twice with the same problem I managed to carry twin boys but they did not have anything like scans so I lost them. They suffered punctured lung each through difficult delivery. They take this very lightly because another time I lost a Baby Girl she was one of twin Girls she might have survived but the care I was getting was abismal.

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 5 years ago

      Some of my friends have had miscarriages and recently onehad a stillbirth at 32 weeks. It's devastating when you think you've reached the stage when a baby can survive but then you lose it.

    • menskincaretips profile image

      menskincaretips 5 years ago

      Great information, we lost our first baby due to miscarriage. It was tough and we learned that miscarriage is very common, especially during the first trimester. Fortunately we pulled through the tough times and today I'm the proud daddy of my 3 month old baby girl!

    • Srena44 profile image

      Srena44 5 years ago

      great lens

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      @gottaloveit2: Wow! That is so awesome!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      I have a niece who was born 33 years ago at 1lb. 10 ounces. She's a college graduate and in the work force now. Miracles do happen.

    • Escapes2 profile image

      Escapes2 5 years ago

      My preemie is now 21! It was tough worrying during the entire pregnancy. I am sure this information will help many.

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 5 years ago

      Wow, another amazing lens from you! Your lens gives me a lot of hope, inspiration and strength. I truly admire your great motherhood, and your way of giving hope and positive energy to other women who may get pregnant with related circumstances. I had a premature baby and almost died due to breathing problem; Now, he's my strong and flexible Martial Artists. The Nurses and doctors also had told me that he wasn't gonna make it and to be prepared to lose him at birth, but if look at him now, he's the healthiest, sweetest thing of all...Dear Cary, thanks so much for sharing with me the great joy in motherhood, that no matter what we go through in our pregnancies, raising kids, etc., there's always hope and the great reward is infinite. May God bless you, my dear friend! I can't wait to visit you again to read your other lenses. (I just got sick, after my kids, so it's time for me to zzzzz, haha! See you soon dear!)

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      kristinbowmanlusk 5 years ago

      Thank you for posting this information. Though it is a little scary to see the low numbers for the earlier weeks on survival rates, but very comforting to see those numbers rise as the weeks progress.

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      anonymous 5 years ago


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      Childbirth_Educator 5 years ago

      Well done and informative. Thank you!

    • Jan 1980 profile image

      Jan 1980 5 years ago

      Yes this lens help me , thank you for sharing

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      Very informative lens. Well done!

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      happynutritionist 5 years ago

      What a helpful page, Kay. I have two grown children and am thankful that they were born healthy and full term...thank you for sharing your journey. It will mean a lot to many. blessed

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      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Your story is inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing it! blessings to you.

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      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you for sharing your story

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 5 years ago from Canada

      Great information; well presented.

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      katespade 5 years ago

      Many people are unaware of a disturbing trend for pregnant women and their unborn babies. Due to an increasing trend in overweight during pregnancy, complications are causing a higher infant mortality rate. Hospitals are scrambling to deal with issue, but you can lose weight and avoid these risks.

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      HelpfullJim 5 years ago

      Very touching to my heart! I have a dear friend who went through a very similar experience. Feel free to check out her story in my blogs :)

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      I've had two pregnancies and both were full term. But I'm a worrier when pregnant so it always makes me feel better to educate myself and see at when I cross over big points as far as the likelihood of miscarriage etc. Thanks for the great info!

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      Childbirth_Educator 5 years ago

      We've had several preemies in my family and their situation corresponds with what you say here.

    • Meloramus profile image

      Meloramus 5 years ago

      I am almost 25 weeks' pregnant - fingers crossed that I continue to full term, but it's good to know that my baby has a chance of survival now.

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      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi great info and tips here. Blessed by Squid Angel flinnie and added to my lens Squid Angel flinnie.

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      rallo-smith 5 years ago

      Thank you for this informative lens. I will be passing this information on to my good friend.

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      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      I had some issues during my second pregnancy but none so heart wrenching as those you describe here. Well done lens and very ~blessed~.

    • Kara Hara profile image

      Kara Hara 5 years ago

      Thanks for your interesting and informative lens.

    • cynthiannleighton profile image

      cynthiannleighton 5 years ago

      Thanks for an informative lens. Nicely done.

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      dream1983 5 years ago

      Very nice lens! great job!

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      So happy to hear your little guy made it through - I can't imagine the stress of the thought of a baby born too early. Mine were always late, the problems were always maternal, thankfully, and the babies were healthy.

    • Flexpoint LM profile image

      Flexpoint LM 5 years ago

      This is fantastic article Cari and I appreciate your sharing such personal experience with world; something that I'm sure well bring comfort to many women as well as expectant fathers.

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      It takes courage to share such deeply personal issues. Thank you!

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      myamya 5 years ago

      Great lens!

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      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing with us, great lens!