Sometimes, fate can turn on a very small incident. That was certainly the case for Chloe . When her mother, Lianne, was in her third month of pregnancy her obstetrician noted that Chloe’s head looked smaller than it should. She sent Lianne to a specialist who felt the head size was nothing to be worried about and was going to send Lianne home. But the specialist decided to do a more thorough ultrasound exam since she was there, and found that Lianne had a rare condition called vasa previa. The blood vessels that should be in the umbilical cord instead had formed outside it, across the cervical opening. If this condition goes undetected, then, during delivery, when the amniotic sac ruptures, the vessels also rupture, often leading to the baby being stillborn. It can even lead to the mother’s death.
Thanks to that specialist’s decision to take one last look, all that was prevented. Lianne was placed on modified bed rest and was told she would be admitted into the hospital at 32 weeks of pregnancy. The plan was to stay there until week 34, when Chloe would be delivered by Cesarean section (the only option in these cases). But Chloe had other plans. Six days later, Lianne’s contractions started. Chloe weighed three and a half pounds when she was delivered. She was fragile, so she was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where she spent the next five weeks.
Just before Chloe was to be discharged from the NICU, the doctor found she had a hernia that required surgery. The surgery was successful, but Chloe did not respond well to anesthesia and was having trouble breathing on her own. In the recovery room she coded multiple times. Again, she was whisked away, this time to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Happily, she recovered quickly and was able to go home with her parents two days later.
Today, Chloe is happy and healthy. She’s small for her age and started walking late, but, Lianne says, “She loves to eat; she’ll eat everything in sight.” She’s catching up quickly. And after her bumpy start, Chloe is ready for a bright future.