Thoughts on “viability” – 23 weeks 1 day

Now that we have reached the 23 week marker we are at what many consider to be the viability milestone.

What is viability? I had a friend ask me that today so I thought I might spell it out here.

Essentially at 23 weeks you go from your baby having pretty much no chance of survival if it was to be born to some chance. In this case, 10-35% chance of survival. Some people feel heartened by this but I don’t really. You see when I see that I number my brain automatically turns it around and tells me that it also says that 65-90% of babies born at this point will die. Those there are big numbers and I’m not really a fan of the survival odds.

I think for your baby to fall into this 10-35% category you probably need some notice that it is going to be born so they can pump mama full of steroids to encourage any lung or other organ growth. And you probably need to be at the right hospital to cater for such a delivery.

Things like rupture of the membranes (waters breaking) prior to 24 weeks greatly reduces the chance of survival apparently so I am guessing my speculation about the birth needing to have some notice for best chance of success to be correct. Also the bigger the baby in general, the more likely it is to survive an early birth. So if bub is measuring slightly ahead then in this case, not such a bad thing.

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. I met someone today who knew a 1 year old who was born at 23 week gestation and he is absolutely fine. A little small and behind milestones sure, but he survived and without any obvious disabilities. Woooo!

And if we have 10-35% change of survival right now, today, then those odds only get better with each and every passing day that baby stays tucked inside, kicking away. In only 4 short weeks I will be 27 weeks at which point viability reaches a whopping 90%. Damn, now they are some odds I can get my head around.


I had a mini little freak out today at how fast time seems to be passing. Our renovation on the garage began this week and we’ve done a big clean out of stuff – the first clean out of many in the coming months. I am hoping to be done with that project by end Feb so I can get working on the baby corner in my room. I want to be done with that part by end March (at which point I will be 30 weeks pregnant) so that I can spend the last 10 weeks not worried about the fact that I’m not nimble enough to get stuff organised. And that way I will know that we are ready for her whenever she may arrive and I can just concentrate on being ready for the birth.

OB appointment on Thursday and I’m keen to ask a few of my questions from all my VBAC / natural birth research so excited about that. I’ve fallen right off the healthy eating/exercise wagon of late so am nervous about what I will weigh at my appointment. I seriously need to right this ship or I’m going to end up a freaking whale and it’s stressing me out.

Monkey has started making up songs to sing to the baby. It is sooooooo cute. He just loves her so much already. It makes my heart so full. I cannot wait to be a mum of two. I talk about them as “the kids” already and I just loooooove being able to use that term. It rocks my freaking world.

Oh and I have logged off Facebook for the month. Man I waste so much time on that shit. I am interested to see how I fill my time when I don’t have it. So far tonight I’ve played sudoku and written this post so not really like I am being any more productive than usual. Ha! I took the app 100% off my phone so I can’t even sneak in if I want to. I could log in via the browser I suppose but I’m pretty good to sticking to stuff when there is a time frame so I think I can do this. I’m really just trying to break the habit for now so that when I log back on I hopefully use it less. Until the baby is born and I’m sitting around breastfeeding constantly and then I’m sure I’ll wind up a junkie again…

FYI – I just took all the viability stuff from Wikipedia so if it’s not up-to-date and I am busily misinforming then I am sorry.Ā 


32 thoughts on “Thoughts on “viability” – 23 weeks 1 day

  1. Man, now I’m starting to get excited! And apparently the nesting stage has really kicked in – and I’m not sure what all of that involves, but it sure sounds like you are on top of it and have a good timeline going! Plus, I’m a big fan of getting it done so you can enjoy that last bit!! Sending you some good energy and lots of hugs! šŸ™‚ And we need to connect on FB when you get back! Oh – and my goodness, Monkey making up songs!! My heart melted!!


  2. I never found that viability stuff very comforting, although I know some do, since bad things can still happen even after a fetus is viable (I’m such a ray of sunshine OMG). Although, this time I think it will help me breathe a little easier once I get to maybe like 28 weeks or so. Apparently prednisone puts me at greater risk for premature rupture of membranes (I just found this out — awesome), so I’m pretty worried about that. But if it’s gonna happen, the later the better. Gah, just talking about this stuff makes my skin crawl. Can we just fast forward to like 38 weeks when we have healthy babies in our arms (I delivered Lettie at 38 weeks — I’m hoping for the same this time)? That is so cute about Monkey! And I will miss you on Facebook! Xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah it doesn’t comfort me all that much either. I am more a fan of any week starting with a 3! How funny if we have our girls around the same time. I had Monkey the day before his due date and I am determined this time to be getting right into stimulating birth from 36 weeks. I keep saying I am having a May baby. So if I go on time and you go early by 2 weeks we will deliver around the same date! That’s a super nice thought šŸ™‚ xx


  3. A coworker of mine from my Microsoft days had an emergency delivery one year ago (Jan 6th). Baby was in the early 20 weeks (not exactly sure what week), and weighed in at 1 lb 7 oz. I’m not gonna lie – it was very scary for weeks upon weeks. He remained in hospital for 3-4 months, if memory serves correctly (possibly longer) – but eventually he went home. He just celebrated his first birthday!! He is smaller than an average 1 yr old, but there are no obvious disabilities! Talk about a little fighter!!!

    I am so happy for you, Em! You and your “kids” are going to make an amazing family!! xoxo


  4. Sounds like things are continuing to go well with you. So cute that little man is already loving his sister!! He’s going to be such a good big brother! Let us know how your appointment goes!


  5. Ah viability…where it might be okay for the baby to come but you certainly don’t wish for that to happen.
    Every day you are getting closer to meeting this little girl! I am so excited you and I won’t lie…when you said “the kids” I sobbed out loud. Oh my darling that is just the bees knees. Muah xxx


  6. Ha! I really think we are so similar in the way we think! I’m totally analysing the stats all the time too, and sceptical about them. I remember sitting in the doctor’s surgery before our IVF day (where 12 couples get taken through the process) and telling T how many of them were likely to have a successful cycle. (3-4)

    I have decided to leave FB temporarily this week too. It was just too traumatic to keep seeing the “5 photos that celebrate being a mother”. I really had to try and limit my trigger finger though! šŸ™‚

    And – cautious congratulations on viability! I know it doesn’t MEAN viable, but as you say, it means “every day more viable” which is pretty brilliant. Well done you! X


    • haha yes we do seem to have similar brains!!! Love me a bit of stats. Good luck with the Facebook break. I’m totally having withdrawals so it just goes to show how much I need to break the habit.

      Thx for the cautious congrats. I think that’s how I feel about it – cautiously optimistic but not putting all my eggs in that basket just yet. x


      • Well I think you are thinking about it the sensible way. It’s tricky to deal with the emotional side but I do find it comforting in a strange way to understand the stats.

        The FB thing is bad!! I had to move mine from my home screen and turn off notifications to try and stop myself checking it! šŸ™‚


  7. Whaaaat??!! Time has flown by!! I am sure it felt like only yesterday I was feeling nervous for you after your positive test!!! It’s interesting to ready about the description for viability at 23 weeks, I’m all for positivity, but these stats would make me feel nervous. So here’s a cautious high five for 23 weeks!!! šŸ™Œ


    • Yes time really is starting to fly here. And I agree, those stats give me the heebie jeebies but I am feeling more and more cautiously optimistic these days which is nice. Then I feel worried I am going to jinx myself which is nothing short of ridiculous but you know what it’s like. Hope you are doing ok for this 2WW.


  8. I held my breath as each pregnancy milestone went by as well. But every day that goes by is a huge benefit to the baby – I found that comforting and something positive to focus my mind on. I think by 24weeks the odds are 50/50…so even just a few more days makes a huge difference!


  9. Oh my gosh- I feel the same way about viability! I don’t mean to be a pessimist; just a realist šŸ˜‰ However, each passing day/week reminds me that the baby is growing bigger and stronger and though I’ve definitely been counting milestones the whole pregnancy, that does bring me SOME comfort. My SIL had our niece at 26w6d and she was just over 2 pounds. This was well before my time with my husband, and although she was in the hospital for a few months, she’s a healthy 16 year old now! Hope your appointment goes great!


    • Ah yes that is so me too, always the realist šŸ˜‰ hehe Love that story about your niece and that they managed that 16 years ago too is pretty awesome. Yay for stories of hope for us freaked out realist mamas haha šŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Every day that passes is better odds for a good outcome. You are doing so well and in full-on nesting mode now! Facebook is a time suck. Completely understand why you are taking a break. I tend to scroll through it when breastfeeding as I can do it with one hand, but I’m aware I’m probably on there waaay too much. I am unbelievably excited about this baby’s arrival and of you being a mum of two!!!! xxx


  11. No Facebook for a month? I am way too addicted, lol. I feel like it’s the only social life I have most days.
    Just thinking about the viability thing……every day that baby gets stronger and bigger. Just the same, keep Bub cooking as long as yo can. Try not to worry!


  12. I’ve got a couple more “kids” I can send you. Send them back at about 12-12. I’ll do the sex talk for you.

    Must feel good to get the garage cleaned out. And a Facebook washout! Awesome! I love Sudoku but haven’t played for years. I think it sounds like you’re doing just great! Of course, funnel in the omega 3s for that baby’s genius brain! šŸ™‚


  13. Pingback: VBAC update and blogging for blogging’s sake – 23 weeks 5 days | The Secret Life of Emily Maine

  14. Pingback: At that magical 90% mark – 27 weeks | The Secret Life of Emily Maine

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