Kensley

Three years after giving birth to our twins Brayden and Parker at 28 weeks, my husband and I found out that we were pregnant with our third child, due February 22, 2018. We were optimistic that I could carry her to term this time, as I was only carrying a singleton.

When I went in for my 12 week ultrasound, my maternal fetal medicine physician delivered some concerning findings. He diagnosed me with a complete placenta previa. The baby’s placenta had attached to the very bottom of my uterus, completely covering my cervix. This not only meant that c-section was my only option for delivery as the placenta was blocking the birth canal, but it increased my risk of hemorrhaging, and subsequently delivering prematurely, significantly. I was nervous, but still remained hopeful for a healthy and full-term pregnancy. 

Around 26 weeks, I woke up to find a small amount of blood in my underwear. Although it seemed an insignificant amount, the OB requested I head to the hospital's labor and delivery department to be examined. The doctors determined that I did have a small bleed that had resolved and sent me home. 
Within an hour of walking through our door, I went to the bathroom and blood unexpectedly began to pour out of me. We rushed back to the hospital where I was admitted to the MOM unit again.

I had around 5 significant bleeds necessitating a 4 week stay in the MOM unit. There, the doctors’ monitored both my bleeding and how well Kensley tolerated each placental bleed.

By Christmas Eve, since it had been over a week since my last major bleed, I was discharged to go home and spend time with my family, while taking it as easy as possible. Christmas Eve and Christmas were marred by fright and concern for another hemorrhage, but I was grateful to be able to spend the holiday with my family, especially Brayden and Parker.

On the evening of December 26th, I felt a familiar “gush” sensation and ran into the bathroom. There was blood spilling out of me, more than I had ever seen before, and there was no sign that the bleeding was going to stop on its own. We called the hospital to let them know that I was on my way and after I explained the circumstances, the doctor on-call determined that I was hemorrhaging. As we made our way to triage, the nurses and doctors prepared the operating room for me. Kensley would need to be delivered as soon as I arrived to save both of our lives. 

We raced up to triage, to a room already filled with doctors and nurses who speedily stuck an IV into me and ran my gurney down to the OR. Due to the severity of the bleeding, the was no time for a spinal or epidural, and I had to undergo general anesthesia for my c-section. Kevin was not allowed to be in the OR with us so he waited in the hallway as they cut me open and delivered our daughter at just 31 weeks and 5 days. 

After Kensley’s birth, she was rushed down to the NICU where she was placed into an incubator and was treated for respiratory distress and jaundice, among many other typical issues that accompany a premature birth.

Kensley's 25 day stay in the NICU was difficult, but a breeze compared to Brayden and Parker’s NICU journey. She was a little fighter, making progress every day and was able to come home with us at only 35 weeks gestational age.

Once again we were reminded how amazing medicine can truly be and were immensely grateful for all of the procedures and therapies available to ensure that our third preemie could come with us.

Family, friends, nurses, and doctors reminded us to take the NICU journey "one day at a time". We rejoiced in the "good" days.

Martha & Paul / Wyndmoor, PA

Martha & Paul