Our Unexpected News at 20 Weeks Pregnant: Vasa Previa

January 8, 2019 8 Comments

Category: IVF Journey, Motherhood, My Story
Tags: High risk pregnancy, IVF, Infertility, MS, Vasa Previa, multiple sclerosis

I lie awake at 3:52am as I begin to write this. I can’t sleep. I’ve spent the last few days in a funk that I can’t seem to get myself out of. After our routine 20 week pregnancy exam, I was told that I had vasa previa, a rare but severely devastating condition that undetected often leads to fatal hemorrhage / placenta abruption. This is the leading cause of stillborn births.

When I heard the news, my heart sunk. I immediately started to question if my baby would live and what my own fate would be. I was terrified.

I spent the next few days researching this rare condition that only affects 1 in 2500 pregnancies. From tapping into the all-so-resourceful Google to online support groups to even talking to someone who had the same diagnosis but whose baby tragically didn’t make it, I’ve read through it all. The general take away was that the prognosis thankfully looked promising when diagnosed in advance but still, the complications that could arise are endless and nothing is guaranteed.

My doctor advised that I needed to take precautions immediately – limit my activity m, no exercise or lifting of any kind, sexual activity, etc – and hospitalized bed rest would be necessary after hitting the third trimester at 28 – 30 weeks. At any point in the pregnancy, the blood vessels within my cervix could burst and we would have only minutes to surgically remove the baby without leading to a fatality. Talk about pressure…

Vasa Previa
Typically the placenta is connected and away from the cervix. With vasa previa, it’s split in two and only connected through blood vessels which can be ruptured.

Assuming the membranes stay put (hence low activity / the bed rest later on), a c-section will be scheduled at 34 weeks, followed by a month of NICU time for the baby. 34 weeks is the best case scenario, as they need to get the baby before anything happens but still allow him enough time to grow in-utero. If bleeding occurs earlier, hospitalization would be needed immediately and our schedule would be shifted.

Ugh. My heart sinks as I write this.

I can only be so lucky as to have the series of events happen as listed above. To have that plan executed so that the baby and myself come out of this okay, would be everything I could hope for and more. But my mind can’t help but wonder and my anxiety has hit a new high as I think of all of the complications that may arise and read the horror stories of others who share this diagnosis.

The truth is, I feel drained. Emotionally and physically drained. It feels like we’ve been continuously hit with these obstacles and I’m tired of having to overcome them. To put on this face of positivity and strength and tackle the unexpected. I don’t want to anymore. I’ve done that with my MS diagnosis and fertility treatments, and now that we finally got the wonderful news that our baby is healthy and growing well, we are hit with this.

I know how lucky I am – to have this diagnosis early… to have access to the best doctors… to have an incredible support system behind me – but I’m just drained.

I’m tired of being scared, fearing for the worst and not being able to control the outcome of this terrifying condition. With a child at home, the thought of something happening to me in this process scares me beyond belief, not to mention the fear of losing the one inside me that would complete our family. We’ve come so far to get to this point, I just want to see it all fall into place.

Did I mention that my likelihood of an MS relapse post birth increases exponentially? With hormones and stress raging, the likelihood of relapse raises almost 60% within the first 6 months of birth. We have enough to worry about without the physical ramifications of that. It all feels like too much and the weight is falling on my shoulders.

So, yes…of course, I will pick myself up and tackle this head on as I’ve done before. I will find a high-risk specialist, consult my neurologist, and I will come up with an action plan. I will do everything in my power to make this okay. But I don’t feel like myself and hopefully will be able to turn that around.

Our baby boy who is thankfully growing and active. He kicks me all day now! 🙂

What’s next? Some wonderful people are helping me get an appointment with the best high-risk pregnancy practice in Chicago. We will go from there with Vasa Previa…


8 thoughts on “Our Unexpected News at 20 Weeks Pregnant: Vasa Previa

  1. Avatar for Angie Rose Randall

    Mary Lee Antonucci

    Angie, I’m keeping you and your entire family in my prayers. I commend you with how you are able to express your fears with so many. My hope is that it helps you to relieve, even if a very small, some anxiety you are feeling each day. Along with helping others who might be struggling with this same condition. Stay positive, stay strong…you’ve got this girl 😘

    • Avatar for Angie Rose Randall


      I really appreciate all of the prayers and you reaching out, Mary Lee. Means so much ❤️

  2. Avatar for Angie Rose Randall

    Elizabeth Carroll

    Thinking of you Angie. After my MS diagnosis, and after dealing with other things life has thrown my way, this song gave me strength by Katy Perry, called Rise. Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdw1uKiTI5c. It’s normal to not feel like yourself after going through all you have went through and now having to worry about this on top of it all. You will get back to yourself. You may feel like you do not have control, but remember, you control your emotions, you control how you react to situations, and you control how you will respond and rise up from situations. With MS, we worry about what we will wake up to tomorrow, will we be able to walk, will we be able to see, will we be able to function like we normally do…we don’t know the answer to that, but we get to control how we are going to handle each day of our lives. After a doctor appointment I had where my doctor wanted me to switch medications, I was devastated, heartbroken, and I lost myself too. I woke up one day and decided, I wasn’t going to feel like that anymore. So I changed. It takes strength, which you have, and time, but you reach down deep and you get yourself to a place where you can do this. You already have taken the steps you need to take on your end to ensure a healthy you and a healthy baby. You are doing all you can do to take care of you and the baby, and that’s you winning against this…that’s you fighting against this, and that’s you being the warrior you are.

    • Avatar for Angie Rose Randall


      This message meant so much to me. Thank you for taking the time to comment and write. ❤️

  3. Avatar for Angie Rose Randall


    It’s very scary honey, and you have a right to feel exhausted. You’ve handled one crisis after another and you don’t always have to be strong. Go with your feelings. It’s ok to feel drained. Take whatever time you need. Your unsinkable spirit will bounce back — but only when it’s right for you. ♥️♥️

  4. Avatar for Angie Rose Randall

    Sharon Barrett

    God, I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Angie.

  5. Avatar for Angie Rose Randall

    Clarence Tippey

    I always was concerned in this subject and stock still am, appreciate it for posting.

    • Avatar for Angie Rose Randall

      Angie Rose Randall

      Thank you for reading! Hope it was helpful

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