Saturday, March 31, 2007

safety in numbers

Statistics lie. Or, rather, someone always ends up on the wrong side of them. So, let's take a look at the approximate percentage of babies who survive at various pregnancy milestones in women with no previous history of miscarriages or chronic conditions that might endanger the baby:

After detecting a strong heartbeat? Around 92% Ummm, in my case, no.

After successfully completing the first trimester? About 97%. Well, not exactly.

If the mother develops preeclampsia? Approximately 90% Sorry about that.

At 26 weeks' gestation? Close to 85% Not so much.

Ultimately, whether your baby survives is an on/off switch. Either it happens or it doesn't. So, really, the only statistic that matters for me is:

How many of my twins lived? 0%


Lori said...

Yes, once you have been on the wrong side of statistics you never look at those numbers the same way again.

I'll never forget the OB who attended the delivery of my twins. Here I was in the midst of the most traumatic event of my life, and she kept asking me questions about my past pregnancies, deliveries etc... trying to uncover the mystery as to why this was happening. She kept saying,"This is just so rare!" Even in that moment I wanted to scream, "It isn't rare for me anymore! It's happening to me right now!" Of course I am sickeningly too nice for that... I just answered all of her stupid questions and said nothing.

Aurelia said...

Stats always seem to be the excuse for why OBs and REs don't do their job. "Statistically speaking it will work sooner or later, so why should I (the RE) bother doing my job?"


frumiousb said...

My doctor told me that what happened to us was the pregnancy equivalent of getting hit by a meteor. He also said that he wouldn't tell us how low the chances of repetition were since he was pretty sure that the odds wouldn't mean much.

My baby was also almost 26 weeks, by the way. But she was so growth restricted from the disease that she would have been small for 23 weeks.

Patience said...

I used to take such comfort in statistics in ivf- then being on the wrong side of the statistics so many times did my head in and now I don't even bother trying to make sense of them.

According to our re, we just have the 'worst luck'.... nothing at all comforting in that...

Magpie said...

We had a strong heartbeat at 6 1/2 weeks. At 7 1/2 weeks, nothing. Gone. The RE professed to be shocked; I wonder if it was a very good act.

Fiona said...

We went in to deliver Nate with a 90% chance of survival. We came out with 20% - and probable blindness, deafness and mental retardation. Not the most wonderful day of our lives after all.

He was 26 weeks and lived two days.

That was almost 10 years ago and I still smart when people talk about viability at x weeks. Viability does not equal life.

Monica said...

What's the point of statistics again?