(Kansas City, MO) – When Robin Schneider gave birth to her little girl ‘Ellie’, she says it unnerved her to look at the little bundle of joy. The size of a coke can, Ellie was born at just 21 weeks after what seemed to be the perfect pregnancy.
All that changed however when she went in for her first routine ultrasound and found out that her cervix was shortened. Normally, the cervix shortens and gets thinner and softer as a pregnancy progresses, so that the baby can pass through the birth canal during labor. But it was happening way too soon for Robin.
Robin says, “My cervix was about a tenth of the length it was supposed to be. The next day when I went back for a more detailed emergency scan, it had shrunk completely. This meant that I could have gone into labor at any second which would have been terrible because the doctors couldn’t have helped her and she wouldn’t have survived. It was a massive shock to us because I had thought me and the baby were healthy.”
Doctors inserted a small ring shaped device or cervical pessary into Robin’s cervix in the hope that it would ‘plug’ her up and prevent premature labor. But at 20 weeks, when Robin went into St Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City to have her pessary checked, it failed and her water broke.
Robin says, “It was absolutely terrifying. I was put on 24-hour bed rest and intravenous antibiotics, which were known to actually prevent labor.”
Robin hung on for almost two weeks but by mid-June, the premature dilation caused when her water broke had developed into a premature pre-partum rupture of the membranes (PPROM) which led to an infection and with that, there was nothing the doctors could do. Robin had to deliver her baby.