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  • At 33 Weeks, Mom's Ultrasound Reveals Something Was Wrong With Her Baby's Organs

    Umbilical cord thrombosis occurs in one in 1,300 deliveries.
    by Rachel Perez . Published Jul 29, 2020
At 33 Weeks, Mom's Ultrasound Reveals Something Was Wrong With Her Baby's Organs
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Lorna Jane Rana
  • Lorna Jane Rana, 39, a Filipina based in Qatar, was 23 weeks pregnant with her second child when the sonologist noted something was wrong with baby's internal organs during a routine ultrasound.

    It was too early in the pregnancy to tell what it was, and Lorna hoped it would disappear. On her 33rd week of pregnancy, her doctors still couldn't identify what it is and how it will affect her child, but it was clear whatever the problem, it was not going away.

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    What is umbilical cord thrombosis in the veins

    Because of her age and ultrasound findings, Lorna's pregnancy was classified as high risk and she was referred to a hospital specializing in maternity and pediatric concerns. She was 36 weeks pregnant when doctors finally told her what was wrong with her baby.

    "It was umbilical thrombosis in the vein, and as the doctor said, it's a rare case unborn pa yong baby my thrombosis na siya," Lorna revealed to Smartparenting.com.ph via Facebook Messenger.

    Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) within a blood vessel, which prevents blood from flowing normally through the circulatory system. Umbilical cord thrombosis is estimated to occur in one of 1,300 deliveries globally. It can happen to pregnant women of all ages.

    Umbilical cord thrombosis can be blood clot in the umbilical arteries or a blood clot in the vein, the latter being more common. In some cases of umbilical cord thrombosis in the vein, there may be a block in more than one blood vessel of the umbilical cord, which can affect blood and oxygen flow to the baby's major organs.

    Lorna's doctors told her that while they identified her baby's condition, they couldn't pinpoint if the vein with the blood clot flows directly to the little one's heart or liver. To check, she was scheduled for a C-section to deliver her daughter prematurely, and it was confirmed the vein with the blood clot flowed to her liver.

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    Nine weeks of daily injections, ultrasounds, and other tests

    Her daughter, Mikaila Louise, was immediately taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after delivery. Doctors conducted all the necessary tests, such as 2D echo and ultrasound. They also checked her digestive system and if she had blood conditions.

    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Lorna Jane Raña
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    The little girl received twice-daily injections of a drug that could clear the blood clot in her veins. The amount of injections meant Mikaila had to have an insulfon catheter implanted on her leg, a small device where doctors or nurses can inject the medicine without causing her the injection pain. Every three days, she had blood extraction and ultrasound to monitor her progress.

    Doctors encouraged Lorna to breastfeed Mikaila as soon as she delivered. "Kasi it helps para sa condition ni baby at para mapalakas immune system niya," she said.

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    For two weeks, little Mikaila stayed in the NICU and Lorna was there every day although she couldn't stay overnight. She had a 4-year-old who needed her at home.


    The good news was Mikaila was physically active despite her condition. So after 12 days, she was allowed go home with mom and continue her treatment at home and as an out-patient. Lorna would take her daughter to have her infusion replaced weekly. She also trained with a nurse so she can do her daughter's injections at home.

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    Overcoming treatment and on track for recovery

    On Mikaila's checkup three days before celebrating her ninth week, she was given the all-clear. "Naiiyak ako noong sinabi ng doctor na my baby is all good, the medication worked, and the blood clot was all gone in her umbilical and liver," Lorna recalled. (When she turns 1, Mikaila is scheduled for another checkup to see if everything is going well.)


    "My baby is a fighter, super brave niya. 'Pag immunization niya, konting iyak lang tapos okay na sya. Nasanay na yata sa sakit," Lorna quipped.

    Lorna always thought if her baby, now 5 months old, can get through it, so can she. "Kailangan matatag ako hindi dapat padala sa sitwasyon," Lorna shared.

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