bump #77: when the other shoe drops

We received a not so great phone call from my doctor last night. After reviewing our anatomy scan from last week, she noticed something wrong.

The baby is fine (for now). That is all that matters.
To me.
She described a condition called "Vasa Previa" where basically the blood vessels connecting the umbilical cord to the placenta are blocking the cervix and could rupture at any time, but especially when delivery is near and the water breaks.
"Is it fatal?" Is all I could keep asking. "Is the baby ok?" "What does this mean?"
It is not usually fatal, but, gone undiagnosed, it is devastating and the baby would not survive natural delivery. It means I have to have a scheduled C-Section before 37 weeks and bi-weekly ultrasounds for the remainder of the pregnancy. I will most likely have to go on bed rest from 30 weeks on and am back to that "high risk" category I was only recently so relieved to get out of.

I was still at work when I got the call and had to step out of a meeting, so you can imagine the mess of a situation that is a 5 month pregnant woman in an elementary school hallway in hysterics. I don't even want to go to work today!

In all my research of potential complications I never came across Vasa Previa and still don't know a lot about it. (Don't google image it. Just don't.) It is rare, but more common in cases of patients who have undergone IVF as we have. The risk goes from 1 in 3000 to 1 in 300. Why do I have to be the one?

This is because we did IVF. But what choice did we have? This is the only way we get our baby.
And now it's complicated.
I was so excited to reach the half way point. 20 weeks felt like an amazing accomplishment for someone who thought they would never get to be pregnant. On Monday I even felt real kicks, finally. It was as if baby boy had his own spin class going on in there! So surely everything was fine.
In a journey so fraught with equal parts excitement and anxiety, we are devastated that the remainder of the pregnancy is going to be so stressful and scary. We also know that God is in control and we have remarkable doctors and technology to make sure our baby is safe and healthy. We are grateful to know now, and not when it is too late, so we can plan ahead. Any dreams of a natural delivery or third trimester are dashed, but what matters more than anything is that our little Ollie Bear is ok.
His name is Oliver Vance.
And he can hear us and all the prayers we are praying over him.
Thank you God for protecting our miracle baby.


  1. Oh gosh, Bren. How incredibly scary- and how fortunate that they found it so early. I will be praying for yall and Oliver especially- and I LOOOOOVE his name.

  2. Oh, what scary news. I'm praying for you and Oliver. Thank God your doctor caught this and you will be monitored regularly to ensure his health.

    I am so sorry your pregnancy has to be colored by this fear. But this is not your fault, and you have a healthy little boy growing in your belly. He will be fought for, and you will both make it through this.

    Oliver Vance is such a strong, beautiful name.

  3. Oh love, I'm so sorry. I know this must have come out of left field for you guys... everything was going along so smoothly. You deserved a natural birth, the water break, the deep breaths... you deserved that kind of fear. This is just so unfair.You don't deserve to live with this fear for the last months of your pregnancy. Praying for Oliver, your doctors, and your heart. You are dearly loved, Bren.

  4. Oh sweet Bren! I am so sorry, but I'm so glad that your doctor caught this from the anatomy scan! I will be praying so very hard for you and your sweet baby Ollie (LOVE his perfect name!)! xo

  5. Ugh, it really is always something, isn't it? I will be praying for sweet Oliver and for you! They told us at my 16-week scan that Clara had a bright spot on her heart that "might" be a marker for downs syndrome (and then told me not to stress about it, right). Anyway, you read along when they then decided she was not growing fast enough and made me do twice weekly biophysical profiles and non-stress tests... fun times! It really was fun to get to have so many ultrasounds, but I did feel like I was constantly waiting for something to be wrong. Sorry, I'm rambling. Hang in there- take it one day at a time and remember every day you keep that baby warm and snug in there is a victory!

  6. I found your blog through Erika and have been reading along since before you did IVF. I don't know that I've ever commented though. I'm so sorry to hear this news. I commented to a friend once that the harder it was to get pregnant, the easier the pregnancy itself should be.

    I'm so glad the doctors caught this in time so can take precautions so that you and Oliver will end up okay. I am praying for both you and for Oliver. And for your husband too. I feel like our husbands sometimes get the short end of the stick in pregnancy, at least mine did. So your husband is also in my prayers.

  7. Praying for all of you and I'm looking forward to holding that sweet boy the next time we're in California! Yay for baby Oliver!


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