Meeting with the Specialist

Davey and I were counting down the days until today: an ultrasound and a meeting with Dr. Redman, a specialist for pregnant women with high-risk diagnoses.

While the fetal vessel hasn’t moved, as suspected, Hannah looks healthy and beautiful! She’s in the 77th percentile, weighing in around 3 pounds, 7 ounces.

Meeting with the Specialist

Dr. Redman was very thorough, laying out the risks of vasa previa as well as preterm birth, subjects that typically send me in a state of depression for the remainder of the day. But alas, today I am strong, confident and optimistic.

“We’re weighing the risks,” he said, as he discussed the timing of delivery and the monitoring leading up to it.

When vasa previa is diagnosed, elective delivery by cesarean before labor begins can save the baby’s life.  Ideally, it should be performed early enough to avoid an emergency, but late enough to avoid problems associated with prematurity. ~ Vasa Previa Foundation

Dr. Redman also discussed what we can expect in the coming weeks:

I’m checking into the hospital next Monday. The nurse will administer a steroid treatment to accelerate the maturity of Hananh’s lungs. Dr. Redman assured us that this will not adversely affect her in any way (since it’s only administered once or twice and not regularly over a period of time). Every day, a nurse will roll in a monitor and check Hannah’s heart. Additionally, two or three times a day, another machine will check for contractions.

Every two weeks, I’ll receive an ultrasound. They’ll look at the fetal vessel as well as Hannah’s growth. As we get closer to the 35 Week mark, the doctors will make a determination on when Hannah should be delivered. If my cervical length, as well as other factors, suggest I probably won’t go into early labor, they’ll consider pushing out the C-Section until Week 36. The team will also take into account our wishes and level of anxiety. Ultimately, we want to avoid labor at all costs.

Vasa previa is a condition in which fetal blood vessel(s) from the placenta or umbilical cord crosses the entrance to the birth canal, beneath the baby. Rapid fetal blood loss can occur if the vessels tear when the cervix dilates, membranes rupture or if the vessels become pinched off as they are compressed between the baby and the walls of the birth canal. ~ Vasa Previa Foundation

My OB as well as the specialists are well versed in this condition and are optimistic about the outcome, as are we. We are just grateful – every day – that the ultrasound tech found the complication. I won’t even allow my mind to consider the alternative.

We made a wish back in December and Hannah’s bracelet before she was conceived. What a story we will share when she’s old enough. Until then, I look forward to kissing her soft, warm, sweet-smelling baby skin in July.


  1. says

    Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting.
    But so what, it was still worth it!


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