"I started leaking and bleeding at 8 weeks and had many trips to the ER because I knew something was wrong. Ultrasounds kept showing low normal fluid levels; I was told I was probably in the process of miscarrying. At 17 weeks, I awoke from a nap soaked. I contacted my doctor, who was aware of my concerns since 8 weeks, and was told I likely just peed myself. 20 weeks my husband and I went for the anatomy scan, excited to find out the gender. The technician did the scan and without a word, got up and left the room. An MFM doctor came flying into the room a minute later and asked me when my water broke; I was floored! I reiterated what had been happening and after reviewing the previous ultrasounds all the way back to my first ER visit at 8 weeks, she determined that I had fully ruptured at 17 weeks during that nap. Due to the length of time I had been leaking, our baby was given a 0% chance of survival; we were told to go home and wait it out as we were not willing to terminate. At 23 weeks, I went for a follow-up ultrasound with the MFM team. Baby had no measurable fluid but was growing and had a strong heartbeat! I was admitted for the duration immediately following the ultrasound. I was given steroids, magnesium and IV antibiotics upon admission. At 25 weeks, during my weekly ultrasound, they found fluid around my baby's heart; we were told she was in heart failure and would likely be stillborn. We pushed on. At 28 weeks, she had a pretty large spike of 4.1cm of fluid and was seen practice breathing! Previously her fluid was ranging from 0cm to 2.1cm. Happy day! Until I got up from the table, and it all came gushing out. Double-checked on ultrasound and we were back to 0cm. Fast-forward to 2:30am at 31+6, spontaneous labor began! Back labor going into lower abdomen, contractions wouldn't show on monitors. It took me until almost 9am to get anyone to believe that I was in labor. I was taken back for c-section once they realized I was telling the truth. My daughter was born at 11am and let out a tiny cry. We had about 2 seconds to look at her before she was rushed away.During her NICU stay, she was diagnosed with CLD and BPD, needed a boot to correct her foot (it was facing backward due to her position in utero), and was diagnosed with an absent septum pellucidum. We were told that she would have severe optic nerve damage and wouldn't be able to do any activities requiring hand-eye coordination as a result of the absent septum pellucidum. She struggled to get off CPAP. It felt like her progress had stalled! The medical director sat us down and asked us to trust her, and we did. She added two diuretics and an inhaled corticosteroid and within a few days, our daughter was able to move to low flow oxygen. A neurologist came in to look at her brain scan and an ophthalmologist did her eye exam; they determined that the absent septum pellucidum was just an incidental finding and she would have no issues stemming from it. A cardiologist checked the fluid around her heart and found that it had completely resolved itself. Just like that, the little girl with a 0% chance of survival had beaten every odd stacked against her! She came home on oxygen at 45 days old.Today, she is a rambunctious 10 month old who loves to "sing" and babble. She has no developmental delays. Her foot is corrected and she is trying to crawl. She rarely isn't smiling; a living example of "happy to be alive". My darling Rosalia " - Luisa Balzano
Rosalia Estelle, PPROM 17 Weeks, Born 31+6 Weeks, 45 Days in NICU.
@ Valour Foundation. All images and content are copyright. Please do not copy without permission.