When your water breaks early all you hear for the most part from physicans is doom and gloom. Pulmonary hypoplasia, chorioamnionitis, contractures all things you don't want to have to think about while pregnant. After meeting with the maternal fetal medicine specialist (MFM) the first time I am fairly certain that I am going to terminate my pregnancy. I mean I work in healthcare I can understand the odds aren't great, but for some reason I just can't pull the trigger. You see I wasn't really the child that asked 'why?'. I was always the child that asked 'what if?'.
When doing my own research after my Pprom diagnosis I came across a British website called http://www.little-heartbeats.org.uk/. This is where I first read about babies surviving after Pprom at 20w and earlier and learned "where there is a heartbeat there's hope". Now I knew the odds were still stacked against me, but I also knew that I would forever be asking myself what if, if I choose to terminate. After almost 4 days I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I had made a decision and one I could live with. I would do expected management. I would do everything I could for my baby knowing the odds were still not in my favour. This was still one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.
I go back to the MFM at 21w and explain we are going to do expected management and again I am explained the horrible likely outcomes, but this time I have done my research and I have peace of mind behind me. Baby still looks good on ultrasound and heartbeat is still strong. Nothing wrong except for no fluid. We go back 4 days later for our anatomy scan at 21w4d and due to lack of fluid we get most, but not all of the pictures we need. There is something mentioned about the spine being a little bit curved, but it is thought to be related to baby's position. My next appointment with the MFM I am 23w pregnant and all continues to look good minus not having any fluid. It is at this appointment that I learn that I will have to be admitted to hospital at 23w6d because baby is coming up on viability and we have chosen to do everything possible for baby and we live too far from the this hospital with the best NICU and team on the east coast of Canada. Lucky for me I have family that lives in the area (my brother, his wife and their two daughters) who I am able to stay with and don't have to be physically admitted to the hospital. The hospital has a home care program where a nurse will come and assess me daily at home.
Moving to my brother's house means that my husband essentially becomes a single dad to our almost 5 year old son. Luckily they are able to come visit every weekend, but it is still very difficult to be away from them and my home for an unknown amount of time as the plan is I will be there till baby is discharged from the NICU. I move on Nov 6th, 2018. The next day I get my first steroid shot for baby's lungs as I can still go into labour at any minute. At exactly 24w I get my second steroid shot, have another ultrasound where we see a full bladder nothing else new except I continue to have no fluid, and I meet with the neonatologist. We have a discussion around the resuscitation plans for baby and generally talk prognosis. At 24w we know prognosis is extremely poor. He mentions if I could somehow manage to get to 30w the odds increase and of course the longer I stay pregnant the better. My goal then becomes making it to 30w.
I continue to have daily nursing visits where they monitor me for signs of infection, my blood pressure, and we hear baby's heartbeat. At 27w I begin to have NSTs daily at home and I have weekly BPP ultrasounds and biweekly growth ultrasounds. I continue to have no fluid until at 29w where there is a small 1.2cm pocket of fluid which is gone the next week. Christmas comes and my husband and son come to me for Christmas where we have a quiet couple days of just us as a family. I am almost 31w pregnant and feel great. Everyone nurses, doctors, myself are all still so surprised I am still pregnant.
Hello and Welcome. I am anxiously waiting for the next installment of your story. I am so glad that you found us and you are able to write about your experience here. Please know we are here for you.
Love and hugs
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