Friday, January 2, 2015

Placental Insufficiency

I've been meaning to share the details of our high risk pregnancy for about a year... better now than never, right?

This was a planned pregnancy.  I KNEW when my last period was.  At 8 weeks I remember my OB telling me the baby was measuring about a few days later than the time of conception I had provided. She also said, girls tend to be more petite than boys and we very well could be having a girl.  The OB seemed unfazed, so I didn't let it bother me.

At 12 weeks I recall the baby measuring about a week behind.  Our OB said that she could have been mis-measured at 8 weeks and we would keep an eye on it.  Around 30 we were told that it could be nothing, but my stomach wasn't measuring where it should be with Ellia's growth curve.  So they scheduled an ultra sound and long story short, they weren't happy with the results so we were told to schedule with a high risk doctor.

Once seeing the high risk specialist we were told Ellia's growth was deteriorating because of Placental Insufficiency.  Strained blood flow to and from the placenta was not providing the nutrients that she needed to grow.  Despite this news, we were reassured that in our case it was still better to keep her cooking than to deliver.  As long as she wasn't brain sparing (when the body isn't receiving the nutrients it needs, it increases blood flow to the brain in an effort to spare it from damage), we would continue the pregnancy to 37 weeks.

Our biggest question at the time was, "why"?  I was a healthy 24 year old with no health conditions that would contribute to problems during development.  Our doctors didn't have an answer further than, sometimes things don't develop like they should.

The majority of our high risk appointments went well.  When I say that, I mean that we didn't have any extremely upsetting news.  Ellia was still gradually falling more and more behind on the growth curve, but her blood flow throughout her body didn't indicate stress.

I remember people telling me to eat more so she'd get back on the growth curve.  (seriously a slap in the face.  Not that it would have done any good, I was sick almost my entire pregnancy.)  Whether it be vomiting (once I thought I was going to burp and threw up on myself in the car on the way home from the grocery store... thank goodness it happened in the car and not in the grocery store) or diarrhea (tmi much? I think I hold the world record for almost shitting your pants while pregnant.  hopefully we don't go from almost to actual shitting of the pants in future pregnancies).


after consulting with my doctor further, he explained to us that I could eat all I want and it's not going to affect the nutrients received by our daughter.  Truly, there's absolutely nothing worse than feeling as though you can't do anything to help your children.  Nothing.  Because if I could have done something to help my baby, I would have done it.  Anything to ensure she would be okay and have a wonderful life ahead of her.

Somewhere between 34-35 weeks we were informed that Ellia was brain sparing.  Our doctor wanted to give her one more week in the womb for lung development and we would be induced the next week. Waiting for our next appointment was complete and absolute hell.  BUT it was worth the wait because at the next appointment we received amazing news!  Ellia's body was no longer stressed and the blood flow had gone back to normal!  I think the best part for us was seeing the shock (in a happy way) on our specialists face.  He told us it's incredibly rare for a baby to become stressed and then reverse back into a healthy state in the womb.

We were scheduled to be induced the day after we were 37 weeks.  We went into labor the day before and delivered a HEALTHY 5 lbs 5 oz baby girl :)

Ellia did lose a considerable amount of her birth weight and was 4 lbs 11 oz when we took her home. Despite her weight loss then (she was pegged under the 3rd percentile), she has since gone up on the growth curve!

She turned 1 just a little over a month ago and is now above the 12th percentile in her weight, height and head circumference.  She's happy, healthy, on point for milestones and does everything in her power to keep up with her 2 yr old brother, Beckett!

If you stumbled onto our story whilst searching the internet for answers, I hope it's offered you some comfort.  Also, stop googling!!  If anything is going to make you stress more than you already are, it's an abundance of google medical explanations.  So go pour yourself a lovely little glass of sparkling water and read a book, or catch up on a tv show, or anything else to ease your mind (I crocheted a ton!)  While my story is without a doubt different than yours, know you're not alone! Please don't hesitate to comment or email if you have any questions :)


  1. Is this something that you could possibly have again wih future pregnancies? I'm so sorry you had to go through that, pregnancy can be so scary! So glad she is a happy, healthy and ADORABLE one year old! Love you guys!

  2. That must have been such an emotional ride! It's never easy having to sit and wait when you just want to make it better. While also having to be a parent to little Beckett, so happy this story has a beautiful ending!

  3. I love that you shared this!! I'm a birth doula and think its so important that ALL kinds of birth stories get told, to show the variations of "normal"! You are a wonderful mother and I have loved watching you family's journey :)