High Risk Pregnancies and Level 3 NICU

Most women nowadays are having their babies later rather than sooner. It makes for a more stable and confident mommy. But the problem is, as women have babies later in life they become “high-risk” pregnancies.

Most of the time, aside from your regular  obstetrician you will also have another “high-risk” obstetrician who will monitor you and your baby’s growth and progress. You will typically be seeing these doctors almost every two weeks. They will check if your baby is growing on time and they will also make sure that you are also healthy. I dreaded my first visit to the “high-risk” OB. But fortunately, my regular OB picked a winner and he wasn’t “doom and gloom” like some doctors are. One thing I learned from my visits with him was to be ready to ask my questions. I wrote my questions down before my visit so I would remember to ask them. I also made sure that if there was anything I could not understand from his findings that I asked him until it made sense. There are also tests that my regular OB did to find out how my baby is doing so that we know what to expect.

The one thing I did not prepare for was a proper hospital for my baby. I had no idea that with a high risk pregnancy there was a chance I could deliver early. And if that happened I might need the facilities of a Level 3 NICU. I gave birth to Isaac at 25 weeks but was in the hospital on bed rest for two weeks before that. I could have transferred to a hospital that had a Level 3 NICU like Children’s Memorial Hermann or Texas Children. At that time I was ignorant of the possible outcomes of my pregnancy. Whether or not this was something that influenced the care of my child immediately after birth, I would probably never know. The hospital where I gave birth had great, caring and passionate nurses. I was happy that Isaac had them as his first caregivers. Nevertheless, a hospital with a Level 3 NICU would have so much services to offer for the parents and especially for the babies. Transferring there was one of the best decisions we ever made. There are a lot of great hospitals in Houston. We have the Texas Medical Center! But there are only two hospitals I would recommend to someone with a high risk pregnancy. That would be Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital or Texas Children’s Hospital. Memorial Hermann is staffed by doctors from the University of Texas and Texas Children’s is staffed by doctors from Baylor.

My decision as to where to give birth was influenced in large part by my regular OB. I liked her so much and she was the one that helped me get pregnant that I did not even consider what would happen if my baby came out early. This was a big mistake! When we get pregnant, we need to worry about two things, ourselves and our baby. When your baby comes out you want to be in a place where you have access to the best and brightest neonatologists! You want to be where you can get consultations from opthalmologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, ENT surgeons,etc. My husband and I was able  to consult with a pulmonologist, pediatric surgeon and an ENT surgeon before, during and after Isaac got trached. When we came home his primary doctor was his pulmonologist and he was the one who decided when Isaac was going to see the other specialists he needed.

High-risk pregnancies go hand in hand with Level 3 NICU. It is important for the health and welfare of both mother and baby.