Two weeks later, my husband and I went in for another ultrasound. We’d been praying that the placenta would move up to the proper position as my uterus expanded and also that the amnion and chorion layers of the amniotic sac would fuse as they were supposed to. However, the perinatologist informed us that neither of those things had happened and he didn’t believe that they would at this point in the pregnancy. Not only that, but because of where the placenta was located and the limited space in the sac with the separation between the layers, the baby’s growth was very poor. She was much smaller than she should be and had not made any gains since the last ultrasound.
“When you come for your next ultrasound,” he told us, “be prepared that the baby may have passed away.”
I looked at him and said, “OK.” He looked as though he thought I didn’t understand him. It wasn’t that; I just still had that peace in my heart. I knew that my daughter would be OK.
Three weeks later, we went for the next ultrasound, and the doctor just kept looking very carefully at the screen, not saying a word. Finally, he told us, “I have good news for you. The amnion and chorion have finally fused and the baby has grown.”
“I thought you said that wasn’t going to happen,” replied my husband.
“I didn’t think it would. I can’t explain it,” was the doctor’s response. He went on to tell us that he didn’t think that our baby had Down syndrome. He couldn’t guarantee it; but at that point in the pregnancy, there are usually clear signs that he would be able to see on an ultrasound, and they weren’t there.
Very shortly after this, I woke up one morning and discovered that I was bleeding. I went right in for an emergency ultrasound and the doctor had me admitted to the hospital that day, on bed rest. My little girl was not due for another 10 weeks. For about a month, I was in the hospital. At first, I was allowed to get up to shower or use the bathroom. However, one morning when I woke up and got out of bed, I suddenly felt a strange sensation, as though the baby was coming out. I froze and hit the button to call the nurse. She poked her head in the room to ask what I needed, and upon taking one look at me, turned around and yelled down the hall, “Help! Help! She’s bleeding!”
The next thing I knew, a team of people had lifted me back in bed and were hooking up a monitor around my belly. I heard a thumping noise as my nurse gripped my hand, “That’s your baby’s heartbeat. She’s OK.”
Then, they told me that I’d passed a very large blood clot. There was no more getting up for me, for any reason.
They were trying to keep me pregnant for as long as possible, but because I still had a placenta previa, a C-section was necessary and would have to be done before I began having contractions, as there was a danger that the placenta would either rupture and cause me a dangerous amount of blood loss, or it would deliver before the baby, leaving her without any source of oxygen. They day finally came when they decided that we couldn’t wait any longer. The baby had stopped growing and was no longer urinating, meaning that the placenta was failing to provide her with nutrition. An emergency C-section was performed that day.
On July 28, 2011, my fourth child was delivered, six weeks early. She weighed 3 lbs, 4 oz and was 15” long. She was tiny, but she was perfect.