preterm babies


Fluid-filled ‘Biobag’ Could Help Prematurely Born Babies:
Scientists have created an “artificial womb” in the hopes of someday using the device to save babies born extremely prematurely.
So far the device has only been tested on fetal lambs. A study involving eight animals found the device appears effective at enabling very premature fetuses to develop normally for about a month.
The device consists of a clear plastic bag filled with synthetic amniotic fluid. A machine outside the bag is attached to the umbilical cord to function like a placenta, providing nutrition and oxygen to the blood and removing carbon dioxide. The device in the fetal lamb experiment is kept in a dark, warm room where researchers can play the sounds of the mother’s heart for the lamb fetus and monitor the fetus with ultrasounds.
Previous research has shown that lamb fetuses are good models for human fetal development.


I know I’ve been incredibly absent in this community (and with a newborn, will probably continue to be for a while)

We lost my grandma on March 23rd from a fall down the stairs. She broke her neck and back in several places and was paralyzed from the neck down. She could not breathe on her own and was put on a ventilator but she was very much conscious and able to communicate through nods and mouthing words.

She chose to have the ventilator removed.

We all stood around her bed and shared our most cherished memories as she drifted off to sleep with a smile on her face and then passed quietly away.

The same weekend, I started to notice swelling in my feet and hands, normal for pregnancy but yet abnormal for me, as I hadn’t swelled much this entire pregnancy. My blood pressure started to elevate, and due to my chronic hypertension, we had expected a rise during the third trimester anyway. I saw my doctor the morning before the funeral and she said we would keep an eye on my pressures, and if they continued to be elevated I would have to go to the hospital.

To shorten this up, I made two trips to the hospital in one week and had one overnight stay which included two steroid shots to strengthen babies lungs in case of premature delivery. After observation they let me go with an increase in meds and weekly lab work orders.

Fast forward to my first week of lab work to be done, they found protein in my urine and my blood pressure had elevated yet again even with the increase in medication. They admitted me on the spot and pitocin and magnesium were running through an IV in my hand within two hours.

After 37 hours, three epidural boluses due to back labor pains (HOLY SHIT, LET ME TELL YOU), and about 20 minutes of pushing, Piper was born at 34 weeks and 1 day.

She was whisked away to the NICU due to shallow breathing (from the magnesium, mostly) and put on oxygen and an IV. Over the course of the next couple days she cleared her system of the excess magnesium, fought a rising bilirubin levels, and learned to feed from a bottle with my pumped breast milk. She is currently still in the NICU as of April 14th, because she has to learn to pace herself while feeding. She gets overzealous and forgets to breathe during her meals. Hopefully she’ll get the hang of it soon, I can’t wait to bring her home.

I was in the hospital until late on the 13th, as my blood pressure went all sorts of wacky after the birth. I was reading anywhere between 114/76 to 175/104. We finally have it under control after upping doses, adding a med, and messing with dose timing.

It’s been quite the journey but my heart is now outside my body and in that little girl. I’ve never known a love like this.

Welcome to the world, Piper Lois.

In loving memory of Patricia Lois, 1936-2017

Imagine seeing Chris after giving birth. (Part B)

A/N: Part 5B! Here’s some fluff after that angst. You can read the previous parts here: (‘Charlotte Rose’ - Part 1/Part 2/Part 3/Part 4/Part 5A) and (‘Drunk Minds, Sober Hearts’; ‘Baby Fever’; 'Memory Lane’; and 'Little Ones’ - Masterlist) Enjoy. X

Chris saw your daughter before he saw you; the nurses moved her to the NICU while they stitched you back up. Despite the preterm labor, your baby girl was a beautiful, healthy, and happy baby who came out of your womb with the ability to breathe on her own. She was still needed to be kept in the intensive care unit and monitored until she was strong enough to keep her temperature and feed. Chris was told she had to stay in there for a minimum of two weeks, but he didn’t care; he was just happy that both mother and daughter were fine.

Chris was now waiting with Jack, his parents, and yours to see you. You were yet to be moved to your ward and he was getting a little worried despite being told you were fine. He was tapping his foot so anxiously that Jack opted to sit on a chair instead of his lap. Finally, after half an hour- you were brought out to your ward and Chris could go in and see you.

You were still in a daze when Chris visited; he went in alone because he wanted some time with just you for a while before the rest came in. You were in more pain than you were when you were post-birth with Jack, obviously because you’d been cut into this time. But all that pain faded when you finally opened your eyes and saw your husband’s comforting face. The drugs may have been kicking your ass, but God, did you know he was the love of your life. He took your hand in his and kissed your knuckles, smiling when you managed a weak and tired one.

“Hey, you,” he whispered gently.

“Hi, you,” you mumbled, gently squeezing his hand.

“You really are stronger than I know I ever could be,” he told you.

“I’m not having another child,” was your response and he chuckled, making you smile. “How’s our girl?” You asked and his smile reached his eyes as he nodded. “Is she okay? There’s nothing wrong with her, is there?”

“No,” he shook his head, squeezing your hand. “She’s perfect, just like you and just like Jack.” You smiled. “Your girl is as strong as Charlotte Rose. There is nothing that will ever hold her down, she’s going to grow up to be the most inspiring person we’ll have ever known.”

“Charlotte Rose,” you repeated with a smile; that was perfect for your daughter. It was the first job you and Chris were working on together, and considering it was what you were working on when you went into labor- it made sense, especially after what Chris said. “Chris, do you-” You didn’t even need to finish your question, Chris had already answered it with a nod. “Charlotte Rose Evans,” you said and smiled. “You should go write it on her birth certificate.”

“I already did,” he admitted with a sheepish smile. “I kind of knew you’d want to name her after our first movie together, especially when we were working on said movie when you went into labor.” You chuckled softly because your husband knew you a little too well. “Plus I have a feeling our movie, Charlotte Rose, is going to win us an Oscar. So why not name our little miracle, Charlotte Rose too, seeing as she’s going to as treasured as the golden statue.”

“We really do have the same mindset, don’t we, Evans?” You entwined your fingers with his and he chuckled, nodding. “I’m really happy I met you, Chris.” You told him, feeling your eyes well with tears. “I honestly don’t know what my life would be like without you in it, I can’t imagine it’d be good or as fulfilling as it is now.”

“The feeling’s mutual,” he kissed your hand. “So you can imagine how worried I was about you after you went into the ward,” he chuckled when you did. “I thought I was going to lose you and I was panicking thinking about what I was going to do- how I was going to take care of two children without the love of my life. As much as I love Jack and Charlotte, there is no one I’m going to love more than you.”

“I am pretty awesome,” you smiled.

“You are the best thing in my life,” he corrected.

“You too,” you responded then heard a knock on the door. It was your parents and your son waiting to see you. “We should probably let them in,” you told Chris and he sighed with a soft chuckle. “Go on, Captain. We can have time alone when we’re old and gray,” you teased.

“It’s a date,” he kissed your forehead then proceeded to open the door for them. Jack started barreling towards the second your dad put him down, only to be caught by a chuckling Chris. “Bud, gentle.” He told him and Jack nodded as he walked your son over to you.

“Mama,” he gently hugged you when Chris put him down on your bed. You hugged him back tightly, ignoring the slight stings your wounds gave you. “I’m so proud of you!” He grinned when he pulled away; you smiled at Chris knowing it was what Chris told him to say. “I saw Charlie, she’s so cute! I can’t wait for her to come home to play with me.”

“She’s beautiful,” your mom and Lisa said simultaneously.

“Congratulations,” your dad and Bob smiled at you and Chris.

You and Chris shared a smile, holding Jack close between the both of you. “Thank you,” you both said then shared a sweet kiss. Your beautiful family of four- including Dodger- was now a perfect family of five. Neither of you could ask for anything more; you had two beautiful children, the perfect half as your partner, and you were working with said perfect half on a movie that was surely to bring in Oscars. All was well for the Evans/Y/L/N duo, and all would be well for a long, long time.

Tags: @widowsfics @m-a-t-91 @xoxomioxoxo @imaginesofdreams @ateliefloresdaprimavera @katiew1973 @winter-tospring @shamvictoria11 @caitsymichelle13 @michellekeehlmello @chrisevans-imagines @letterstomyself21 @soymikael @faye22 @always-an-evans-addict @sammyrenae68 @brobrobreja @elizabeth-matsuoka @thegirlwiththeimpala @camerica96 @all-of-the-above11 @captainamerica-ce @whenyourealizethisisntagoodname @yourtropegirl @smoothdogsgirl @createdbytinyaddiction

Epilogue is next! here!

Wrapped In Landon’s Love
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Camri Richelle Cole
My name is Camri, my son was born at 26+6 weeks due to an accident during a standard surgery. He has been fighting to come home since Dec. 9, 2016. We almost lost hims 5 times, basically we want to turn our experience and hardship into something that can help other families to thrive during this hard time..

Wrapped In Landon’s Love is a foundation started by a NICU mother (myself) to help NICU babies and their families during this trying time. We want to give moms and dads the chance to comfort their preemies. My family knows all too well that starting your life in a NICU is hard, you can’t always fix your baby’s problems, you can’t just swoop them into your arms, but we can help. Our main goal is to provide each NICU family with an Octopus Pack, inside is a crocheted octopus, its a therapeutic “toy” that can help reduce a preemie’s risk of pulling at IVs, feeding tubes, ventilator tubes, etc. The tentacles act as a comfort object to their tiny hands, its relatable in their minds to the umbilical cord. They will hold and manipulate the tentacles instead of the wires and tubes needed for them to thrive. An octopus can also be used for therapy sessions, they begin to grab for them, hold them, manipulate the tentacles and help with coordination.

The money will be used to purchase pre-made octopuses, preemie clothing/accessories, gift cards for parents for things that they need (like gas, food, etc), and bags, ribbon and tissue paper for putting the Octopus Packs together to be delivered!

We want this to be a foundation that doesn’t just die out, but we WANT to launch by the end of APRIL! Any help to support our foundation, my dream and to help all the NICU families that are struggling and going through hard times, are BEYOND appreciated.

If you can donate, be it money or other items, I would be so grateful and it will be used to change lives!
Help spread the word!


Haven’t really posted much this week, I’ve just been a ball of misery since my last appointment. I’m still waiting for my appointment with the high risk specialist, I should get a call tomorrow, I’m having my 20 week ultrasound there too instead of the hospital here I originally scheduled it at. I’ll be 20 weeks on Sunday so I’m assuming anytime next week. My aunt is staying with us to help out with the kids since I’ve been put on full bed rest and I’m so thankful. She’s really anxious to have me go in the hospital though because she feels like the worst could happen at anytime and to be honest so do I. As much as it kills me to think about leaving my babies for so long, it’s better than staying home and start bleeding over an hour away from a hospital where a c section is even possible.
The plan right now is to put Sprout in day care and Andrew continues working as long as he can but if it ends up being too much he can take a leave. They’ll all come up to see me on weekends and that will keep me sane. My brother lives in the city, not far from the hospital so that’s a huge relief I won’t be completely alone there and my aunt says she’ll help as much as possible with the kids, but she lives 45 minutes away so it won’t always be easy for her to do so. I’m hiring Andrew’s sister to help out during the week with laundry and stuff.
My bag is packed in case anything happens before my appointment, I got my sick benefits straightened out today and the kids eye appointments so Andrew can just take them. He has two weeks worth of vacation days that he can use too so that’s a big help. This turned into a long post lol not even apologizing because I think blogging will be a major help once I’m bored and lonely in the hospital, ya’ll been warned 😂

From @dknc3:

Here is my take on Elia’s medical issues. They could all easily be traced to her prematurity which can cause a variety of long-term problems. First of all, a preterm baby in Westeros would have to be over 32 weeks because a younger baby would not have lungs developed enough to survive without modern medicine. In fact, a baby under 34 weeks would probably not have enough lung power to make it. This means Elia, if she were considered very premature, was probably a 34 to 36 weeker. So she missed out on a third to a half of the third trimester. 

EVERY preemie, even those born close to term has lungs that are not as mature and resilient as a full term infant’s. So if she gets any respiratory infections in the first year or so of her life, she’s gonna get a lot sicker than a kid who cooked for 40 weeks would. This can lead to long term scarring in the airways and lifelong respiratory diseases like asthma.  There are a few herbals that legitimately help with bronchispasm which theoretically could have been known to maesters and healers which would have helped Elia ease her symptoms if she had asthma and allow her to live into adulthood, etc., but nothing like the bronchodilators or steroids we have now–so she definitely would have had restricted activity level and pregnancy would have been difficult.

One important thing that takes place late in pregnancy is the transfer of minerals like iron and calcium from mother to baby. So all preemies tend to be born with some degree of deficiency in these things. Iron deficiency causes anemia and calcium deficiency causes problems with weak bones. All preemies receive supplements now. But of course supplements wouldn’t exist in Westeros so it would be hard for a preterm baby to climb out of the hole they start and where these minerals are concerned.

Her small size would put her in a nutritional hole as well. Smaller bodies have a greater surface area compared to their total mass so simply maintaining body temperature requires a lot of energy. That’s why premature babies get put in Isolettes, once called incubators. It helps decrease the caloric requirements of the babies which is important because they aren’t great at eating. Being born in Dorne was probably a help to Elia’s survival at least because at least it’s easier there to keep warm there than in Winterfell! Except for Catelyn’s chambers maybe. :-D

If Elia couldn’t latch to a breast, she had no infant formula, feeding tubes, or even bottles with rubber nipples.  The best that could be done is for someone to express breast milk and use something like a rag to drop it into her little mouth. You could possibly maintain her with that, but you are not catching up on calories, minerals or other nutrients.

So she’s set up for long term poor growth, anemia, brittle bones and a whole slew of health problems related to early childhood poor nutrition.

Edged with LaCE - Essay 1

Hello and welcome to the first installment of my “Edged with LaCE” essays, in which I shall endeavor to examine and explain some of my interpretations of Tolkien’s writings, many of which will focus on quotes from “Laws and Customs Among the Eldar” (hence the pun of the title).  

I would like to make it clear before we begin that these are my interpretations of Tolkien’s work, and therefore, they may vary from your own.  Discussion is welcome and encouraged!  Please feel free to comment and voice your opinion - whether in agreement or disagreement.  My askbox and chat are always open to you, if you’d prefer not to discuss on the post itself. 

And now, without further ado, Essay 1:

Concerning the Bearing of Half-Elven Children by Human Females

Multiple examples exist in Tolkien’s writings of children being born to a human father and an elven (or at least mostly elven) mother.  However, we see no cases of children being born to parents where the mother is human and the father is an elf.  It may be that the scenario of such a pair attempting to beget a child simply did not occur.  Regardless, I still find myself wanting to investigate whether such a union could produce healthy offspring, as I suspect the answer may be no.

In Tolkien’s “Laws and Customs Among the Eldar”, it states, “As for the begetting and bearing of children: a year passes between the begetting and the birth of an elf-child, so that the days of both are the same or nearly so…”  Human gestation period is considered to be 40 weeks – a little more than 12 weeks less than the gestation period of elves.  

As I understand it, half-elves, at least in their youth, more closely resemble elves than humans in their physical characteristics.  Because they are given the choice of their doom, their bodies must be formed in a way that allows them to withstand thousands of years, as an elf’s body does.  Only if the half-elf chooses mortality, it seems, does a change occur that causes them to age more in the manner of humans and eventually die.  

Due to this, it can likely be assumed that the prenatal development of half-elves is more similar to that of elves than of humans.  And therefore, it seems unlikely that a human female would be able to carry such a baby to full term (because while she might bear it full term by human standards, it would not be full term for an elf or half-elf).  Whether or not the preterm child would be able to survive, considering the limited medical technology in Middle-earth, is debatable.

We should also look at the effects bearing a half-elven baby would have on a human woman.  “Also the Eldar say that in the begetting, and still more in the bearing of children, greater share and strength of their being, in mind and in body, goes forth than in the making of mortal children” (Tolkien, LaCE).  Pregnancy with a half-elven baby would be even more taxing on a human woman’s body than pregnancy with a human child.  While an elven female’s body is naturally able to withstand the higher demands of such a pregnancy, a human female may not be capable of it.  Or, if she is capable of it, it may be damaging to her.

And now for a look at the spiritual side of things.  “For all the Eldar, being aware of it in themselves, spoke of the passing of much strength, both of mind and of body, into their children, in bearing and begetting. Therefore they hold that the fëa, though unbegotten, draws nourishment from the parents before the birth of the child: directly from the fëa of the mother while she bears and nourishes the hrondo, and mediately but equally from the father, whose fëa is bound in union with the mother’s and supports it” (Tolkien, LaCE).  Whatever the nature of this spiritual “nourishment” the child draws from its parents during pregnancy, it is clear that elves (and therefore, likely also half-elves) require more of it than humans (if humans require it at all – it is not specified).  Is a human woman capable of providing this spiritual nourishment?  Is the bond of union between a wedded male elf and human female the same or similar enough to the bond between wedded elves to allow the indirect spiritual nourishment from the father?  Considering the fact that female elves seem to have no difficulty bearing half-elven children, I think it likely that the answers to these questions is yes.  If the bond between a wedded human and elf were not the same or similar enough to the bond between wedded elves, or if a human was incapable of providing the required spiritual nourishment, it would undoubtedly cause the elven mother of a half-elf difficulty in her pregnancy.  No such difficulty is noted.  However, it may be that humans cannot provide as much spiritual nourishment, in which case, the elven parent would have to provide more than he or she would if paired with another elf.

In conclusion, while it seems definitely possible for a human female to beget and bear a half-elven child, the risks for both mother and child would be significantly higher than for a human female to bear a human child or for an elven female to bear a half-elven child.


Some of you may know this Polish non-profit called Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy (Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity) or WOŚP. They are the biggest NGO charity here, and each January they hold a day-long public fundraiser in Poland and everywhere where there is an active Polish community.  Volunteers, carrying branded collection boxes collect money across the country, and people donating money receive red-heart stickers in return.

They started the fundraisers in 1993 by collecting money for neonatal wards, purchasing ultrasounds, incubators for preterm babies, MRIs, and even beds for hospitals that needed them most. Since 2013 WOŚP is also raising funds to support geriatric and long-term care units in Poland. You can read more about the charity on their Wikipedia page here.

This year they’ve partnered with one of mobile operators here in Poland and released this music video, profits from which will be passed to WOŚP. It would mean a lot if you could spare 5 minutes of your day to watch this clip! 


He Won’t Be Trapped - Ch. 2

Disclaimer: This is strictly a work of fiction and I own nothing except the original characters and plot line. Movie Eric, as delightfully played by the delicious Jai Courtney. 

Genre: Fan Fiction (Eric, Divergent)

Pairing: Eric / eventual Female OC

Warnings: Language

Rating: Slightly Mature Theme

Chapter Two - He Can’t Control Everything

4 months later. 

A loud crackling from his radio shocked Eric awake, causing him to jump out of his bed, the pistol he kept under his pillow already in hand and primed to fire as he looked around the room for any threat. While not unfamiliar with the guest quarters at Amity, anywhere that wasn’t home always left Eric feeling a little on edge, his sleep lighter and more restless. Hearing the radio crackle again, along with a panicked sounding “Eric?!”, he re-engaged the safety on his weapon and laid it down on the table next to his bed before answering.

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