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July 2017 marks the 5 year anniversary of our move to Dublin. Over the next few months I’m writing a few posts to share about that journey. You can keep up with all posts in this series here.

The view from our apartment window in February 2011.

The months of January and February 2011 were challenging. As we shared, Ireland was off the table, and house hunting was going nowhere. That’s when we got news of serious complication with Liz’s pregnancy.

Vasa What?

Being pregnant and 43, Liz’s midwife encouraged her to have a 3D sonogram. While it showed that the baby was healthy, the specialist explained that Liz had a vasa previa.

Basically the blood vessels from the mom to the baby were at or near where the baby comes out, so they’ll likely rupture during labor. The doctor said if that happened the baby would die in 2 minutes. (In Canada, women with this condition are generally admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks due to the extreme risks to the baby.)

The home birth we were planning was off the table. The new plan was for Liz to have a c-section once the baby’s lungs were mature. Probably at 35–36 weeks.

This was as stressful as you’d imagine. One positive was the older girls were no longer upset their parents were having another kid…they just wanted their mom and their sister to be okay.

In the midst of that, Liz injured her knee…we never knew what happened, but, between the vasa previa and the knee she was on bed rest for February. During that period she did some research on her condition and decided to get a second opinion.

Long story short…Liz did not have a vasa previa. According to the new doctor, it was unlikely she ever did. She did have placenta previa which is far more common and far less dangerous. But a huge relief.

An Crazy Night In the Hospital

The plan remained that she would have a c-section once the baby’s oxygen levels reached an acceptable level. But two days before Liz’s third amniocentesis was scheduled, she woke me up around midnight to say “it’s time to go to the hospital. “

So, I went back to sleep.

The next sentence was “I’m bleeding.”

We were out the door in 5 minutes, and to the hospital in another 5.

She had wonderful care. A great ob-gyn and neonatologist.

The c-section went well…but the baby’s oxygen levels were off.

They showed her to us quickly then rushed her to intensive care. It turns out Méabh was born with a hole in her lung. While the standard procedure would be to operate, the neonatologist decided to wait and see if it would heal itself. His patience paid off. Méabh’s lung healed, and within two days she was out of intensive care.

So, that is how Méabh made her entrance into the world. She still has a flair for the dramatic.

While this isn’t directly related to our move to Ireland, it did, along with our house hunting adventures, create space where Ireland could come back onto our radar and provide extended time to pray and talk…but more on that next time.


Also published on Medium.

About author / bob

I am a church planter living on Dublin's Northside. I also serve as Director of Marketing for Communitas International. I write about various topics that happen to be going through my brain.