When you are pregnant for the first time, you really don’t know what to expect. Your body changes in ways you’ve never imagined, and everything feels different. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if those changes are normal, or if there is cause for concern. A complication that is a major concern is PPROM.
In this condition, the sac (amniotic membrane) surrounding your baby breaks (ruptures) before week 37 of pregnancy. Once the sac breaks, you have an increased risk for infection. You also have a higher chance of having your baby born early, according to University of Rochester Medical Center.
PPROM can happen for a number of reasons, and many of those reasons are unknown, so can’t be prevented. When PPROM happens before viability, unfortunately, doctors don’t provide many options. The options that they do provide are not something any mother wants to hear.
As you know from reading other Micro Preemie Monday stories, doctors don’t always know everything. We, as mothers, must listen to our hearts and do what we feel is best for us and our baby.
Today you will meet a mother who did just that, and a baby that defied all the odds and doctors.
I’m so happy to introduce you to Saniyah, as told by her mom, Ary.
1. Tell us about your baby
Our daughter Saniyah Faith was born at 22 weeks 6 days gestation, weighing just 1 lbs 2 oz, 26 cm on April 12, 2015 at 10:59 pm; after surviving 19 weeks PROM.
It was a terrifying and an unexpected ride, but Saniyah is a fighter. She was able to handle all the tubes they inserted to help resuscitate her.
2. How long was your NICU stay? What was the hardest part?
We were in the NICU from 04/12/15 to 10/05/15.
The hardest part was feeling helpless as our baby was just laying there in an isolate.
Our daughter proved the doctors wrong with everything that they said would happen. For example, they suggested intestine surgery because they thought she had a bowel blockage. When they ran their test everything ran right thru her.
3.Do you know what caused your premature birth?
As first time parents, we were both excited to be expecting a baby. I was doing so great throughout the 1st trimester of the pregnancy without morning sickness and just moving along like I wasn’t pregnant. Then the 2nd Trimester came along, and I got sick with coughs and couldn’t really take anything for it. I saw the doctor and was told it was “Rhinitis of Pregnancy”.
After 19 weeks of being pregnant, as I was leaving work, I felt a fluid draining. I thought I had bladder infection or urine on myself. Several hours passed after getting home from work, fluids were still draining, and I finally decided to go to the ER.
After hours of waiting, the doctor finally saw me, and they found the baby’s heartbeat. Then, afterwards, I was told I’ll be admitted for Preterm Premature Rupture of the Membrane (PPROM).
At this point, I didn’t know how to react, and being this was my 1st pregnancy, I didn’t know what to expect. I got moved into my own room, and the doctors told me the baby had no chance of surviving. I would go into labor within 24 to 48 hours, or they would have to induce me.
Researching the internet all night, I learned that most babies survived with low amniotic fluids. So, by the next morning, the doctors were still telling us we would need to terminate my pregnancy. Instead of support, we were given funeral home brochures. So, we decided against it and asked to get discharged.
From there, I went back to see my Midwife who was more supportive in our decision-making. She referred me to a perinatal doctor, and he explained to us the chances of the baby’s survival after being on steroids so we decided to go that route.
Being off work for 2 weeks knowing I had a leakage in my amniotic sac was the worse feeling. I could be delivering any day. But, I went back to work since I wasn’t developing any fever symptoms or having cramps.
On April 11, 2015, I went to urinate and felt movement as I was sitting on the toilet. Luckily, I had my cell phone with me, so I reached for it. I looked under myself like I was taking a “selfie” and saw my baby’s feet hanging out. I was shocked and nervous at the same time.
So, I called the ambulance and was told my pregnancy is “breech,” not knowing what all the terms meant. After the EMT arrived, they verified that the baby’s feet were still pink and moving. I was then admitted to The Mother Baby Center (a high risk facility) on bed rest for the remainder day.
The next morning, April 12, 2015, the doctor stopped by to check on me and the baby. The doctor explained to us the complications of delivery of C-section vs. natural delivery, since her body was half ways out and her upper body was still in the sac. We both decided to take our chances with natural delivery. I was given a steroid shot to help her lungs develop and all day her she was moving around.
By 10:30 pm that evening, her father checked and said her legs were hanging out lower than normal. So, I called the nurse and was rushed to the operating room.
Saniyah Faith was born at 22 weeks 6 days gestation, weighing just 1 lbs 2 oz.
4.How are you and your baby doing now?
As of today, Saniyah progressing daily and growing. Her current weight is 22 lbs 4 oz and hasn’t had any major complications. No major issues or sickness since she’s been home.
She has recently started walking at 19 months and is in a world of exploring her surroundings. As parents, we learn something new about her every day.
5. What advice would you give to a new preemie family?
Network through social media there’s plenty of support group as well as Hospital groups.