Patient Story

There is nothing more important than the well-being of our patients. Many of the women we see have health conditions or complications that make their pregnancies challenging. We understand the emotional toll this can take and are dedicated to providing the best possible care every step of the way.

Anne’s Story: A Sprout of Hope

I took a shot. I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test stick and googled “perinatology in San Diego.”

I called the number of the first place that appeared on the screen: the San Diego Perinatal Center. A woman answered the phone, and while I knew her name was Brenda, I didn’t know how important she’d become in my life. I told her my story of having numerous, unsuccessful fertility treatments, including IVF. There was also the issue of my “advanced maternal age” of 38.

The first appointment was discouraging, as the ultrasound showed a possible blighted ovum, or an empty pregnancy sac. Turns out I just wasn’t very far along, only about five weeks, and my ultrasound tech showed me a tiny little heartbeat on the screen.

A blood test also showed I have a genetic blood disorder: factor V Leiden thrombophilia. This meant that I was in for a long bedrest – turned out to be five months. I also had developed a marginal placenta previa, and I bled a lot. There were a couple of moonlight dashes to Sharp Mary Birch Hospital, which at the time was 45 minutes away from my home.

My first admission to the hospital was for only three days, at about 18 weeks into my pregnancy. The second time was at 28 weeks, so my doctor decided I ought to stay for the duration. On my second night after arriving, I got to experience my first “OB Team STAT!” I was hemorrhaging. Fortune smiled on me that night, as Dr. Catanzarite happened to be on duty that evening. This is the guy you want in charge when the ship has hit an iceberg. Comfortably in command of the situation, he walked in and told everyone to “just stop” what they were doing. They did. He calmly looked over my chart, looked me over, and decided it would be okay to wait a bit. I stopped bleeding, so I was moved out of the OR to a patient room across the hall. After some more time went by, Dr. Catanzarite told my mother-in-law that there would be no birthday that day. He bought my baby two more weeks “in the oven.”

Anne and babySometime in the middle of this last hospital stay, I had the pleasure of a visit from Dr. Cousins, who introduced himself as Larry. I liked him immediately. He informed me that I had developed a serious staph infection. In the morning, I filled my commode with blood, and “OB Team STAT” number two ensued. Despite my pleas to wait to deliver, it was more prudent to give birth, and my son Hadrian was delivered by C-section at 5:54 a.m. – on my birthday and 10 weeks early. He was 3 pounds, 9 ounces. Even though he’d go on to spend a few weeks in the NICU, he was as healthy as we could possibly hope for. I had received excellent prenatal care.