My first pregnancy was very normal and we had a beautiful healthy baby girl. My second pregnancy was entirely different; I started bleeding very early on during the pregnancy. At first there seemed to be no cause, but it continued, getting a little worse each day. Finally it was determined that I had Placenta Previa with a blood clot. Eventually we learned we were going to have a little girl and we named her Ava, all the while thinking we may never really know her. But as the weeks went on, with me in and out the doctor’s office and emergency room, Ava continued to be strong. We saw her regularly in ultrasounds and she was always wiggling around. Finally at about 20 weeks when the bleeding got particularly bad we made an emergency run from Oceanside to Mary Birch. It was there that we met Dr. Sean Daneshmand, very young and fairly new to perinatology, but the nurses called him a Brainiac. We met him again in his office a week or so later and realized he was the one who was going to help us get through this with Ava’s life if it was possible.
Some how I managed to hold on to Ava until the golden marker we were do desperately wanting to reach, week 24 where Ava was now considered viable. I was put into the hospital and was there for the next 2 weeks, when I started hemorrhaging severely. Our family had gotten quite close to Sean, as we now called him, during those 2+ weeks, and after the STAT called him to my room, he arrived breathless, and the worry written all over his face. I was moved to L&D where Sean spent the rest of the day with us watching everything that happened, wondering if time was running out for Ava due to the blood loss.
We all sat around talking and at times laughing as my family does under pressure, Sean included. Then Dr. Daneshmand turned to check the computer for my lab results and spun around on his little stool and said “It’s time, we have to go right now”. There was no more time for Ava or for me, she had to come out now if either of us would survive. I was in the OR for about 15 minutes, and another 10 minutes or so, our little Ava arrived at 26.5 weeks weighing 1lb 15 oz.
It was there that our journey through the NICU doors began. Ava spent nearly 3 months in the NICU, she lost nearly half of her blood volume during delivery when the placenta finally let go before they could get her our. Even so, with the careful eye of her primary NICU doctor, controlling all blood draws, Ava made it through the ordeal with not even 1 blood transfusion, which we were very thankful for since we are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Ava had nearly 0 residual effects following her ordeal. In fact she did so amazing well that even though we moved out of the state, Mary Birch wanted to come and see Ava in her new home in New Mexico. Ava just turned 8, and is my little hippie child. She goes through life as a free and easy spirit, and is if she really understands just how specials her life is, and that there are much worse things in life then worrying about what may be happening today.
- Ashley “Mom”