Our Preterm Labor Story

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I’ve shared before our struggle to grow our family, and how parenthood didn’t come easy to us. I spent months on bed rest with each of our daughters and even then Maddie was born at 34 weeks and Ashley was born at 35 weeks. They were both considered preemies, but I knew we were so lucky to have even made it that far.


With Maddie, I went into labor at 18 weeks and I had no warning signs or risk factors. It was also my first pregnancy so I didn’t completely understand the symptoms once they started happening. I went to the doctor after waiting it out at home thinking it was normal and the doctor checked me out and said it was just my uterus stretching. That made total sense to me. Fast forward two weeks and I was then in full labor at 20 weeks, which could have been disastrous, but by then I was showing outward signs of pre-term labor and they were able to stop it. 


I look back at those times and think about how different things could have been had my doctor and I known that I was at risk for a preterm birth. There wasn’t a test available back then for those that were not having any symptoms, but there is now and it is called PreTRM.

PreTRM as the first and only prenatal blood test that is clinically validated to be an excellent predictor of preterm birth in all asymptomatic women who are pregnant with one baby, early in her pregnancy.

If I had known about PreTRM when I was first pregnant I would have jumped (okay I wouldn’t have actually jumped, I was pregnant and all), at the chance to take this test to have as a tool for my doctor and I to help prevent my pre-term births. 

Preterm birth (defined as before 37 weeks) is a large health and economic problem in the U.S. and traditional methods fail to identify the great majority (more than 85%) of asymptomatic women carrying a single child, resulting in too many babies being born too early with health problems that can last a lifetime. Ashley has asthma and we have been told that her early birth could be to blame.

Did you know that in the U.S., 1 in 10 pregnancies end in a premature birth? This is one of the highest rates in the developed world. Certain women are also at an increased risk and don’t know it, and 50% of women who have a premature birth have no risk factors. Sadly, the best predictor of preterm birth is a previous spontaneous preterm birth. However, 40% of women who have a premature birth are first first-time moms. This is where taking the PreTRM test is extra valuable. After I had Maddie at 34 weeks we knew that I was at an increased risk of having another preterm birth, but there was no way to know this risk before she was born early. I am so happy that PreTRM is available so that others don’t have to go through what we did. If you want more info about PreTRM visit their website and be sure to talk to your doctor about preterm birth


Would you take the PreTRM test?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • I am oh so glad that your story had a happy ending since so many people don’t have the same good look. This resource sounds like a helpful and reassuring one for expecting mamas.

  • I didn’t know that they had a PreTRM test. If I had known I would have taken it. I am so glad everything turned out alright for you.

  • All of our kids were premies, the earliest birth being our twins. Those two ended up in the NICU for over a month before we got them home. It’s a heart ache, but it’s definitely better than the alternative.

  • My daughter was recently pregnant and she was at risk for preterm birth. She had a couple (or more) scares starting at around 20 weeks. She made it to 39 weeks somehow!

  • Both of my babies were preterm as well. My daughter was born at 33 weeks and my son was born at 35 weeks. Luckily there haven’t been any long-term effects. Going into labor at 20 weeks must have been so scary.

  • It is fantastic that there is a test for this now. It will held so many Moms. I would definitely take the test if I became pregnant.

  • I am so happy for you that everything ended up being okay in the end. Preterm labor is hardly ever discussed so this is great that you have shared your story.

  • Awwwww… what beautiful girls! Glad all worked out well for you and your family and everyone is doing great. Thanks for sharing, always love hearing great things like these…:-)

  • There are probably so many people that have gone through this and think that they are alone. It is nice that they now know that they aren’t. This sounds like it was scary to say the least. I am glad that your little ones were born healthy.

  • My middle child was born at 35 weeks and has some health issues. I am so thankful that my son was born past full term!

  • Wow! I’m glad everything turned out ok. This test will help so many moms. I had the opposite issue. My babies never wanted to come out.

  • I’m glad to hear everything turned out okay. I don’t know anyone that has had a premature child. I know it could certainly be tough though.

  • PreTRM sounds awesome for any pregnant mother. This test is s a blessing and can help other mother not go through the premature births. Thanks for sharing this test that can prevent premature births.

  • So glad everything turned out ok. I had a 36 weaker and everyone was rushing around freaking out about it but he was born and 100% perfect and even much bigger than imagined… A lot of people aren’t so lucky!

  • I remember having some mild contractions with my youngest son around 35 weeks. They told me that it was too early to have him and that I needed to be careful. Of course, he ended up being born on his due date via c-section because he decided to turn breech. Silly boy.

  • Your babies are super cute! My babies were born at week 36 and 37, This looks like a great option.

  • I’ve never heard of this before – so I’m so glad all our girls are okay! It’s amazing that there are medical tests like that – to help predict, I”m sure they are very useful in treatment.

  • What a great topic to post on. This is very important and all women need to be aware that a test for preterm labor is now available. I had no clue until I read your post. I am definitely going to research this more and share with my pregnant friends!

  • I had no clue about pre-term labor. This is very interesting, that baby is so adorable!

  • I’m so glad everything turned out ok with your little one. That must have been a really scary time for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • I was on bed rest with my second child. She threatened to come at about 29 weeks. Thankfully, I was able to carry her to 38 weeks. It was a very scary and stressful time. I’m happy a test like this exists now. There’s nothing like having information beforehand and being able to prepare for what may come up. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Oh, heard so many pregnancy stories but this one touches my heart. I love it, and good thing that there is a pre-term labor test now.

  • Being a mom of two, I know parenthood is not an easy stuff to handle. The PreTRM test sounds great and it is nice to hear that everything went well for you at the end of the day. Thanks for sharing your story which could help many!

  • Preterm labor must be such a difficult situation – I’m glad to hear everything was ok with your babies. I can’t imagine how stressful it must be. Had no idea the rate of preterm labor was so high.

  • You have such a beautiful family and I am so happy everything turned out ok. So thankful we can now take tests and learn more about these issues!

  • I would absolutely get this test done! I have 2 children, and with my first I went into pre term labor at 33 weeks, and they were thankfully able to stop it until I was 37 weeks. I cant imagine what you have been through, but it looks like you have a beautiful family!

  • It’s just amazing at what medical science can do in this day and time. None of my kids were premies but I had a neice who had a premie. I bet she would have used PreTRM if she knew about it.

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