Babies: Special Delivery Episode 202 / Fragile Lives

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Every day, almost 11,000 babies are born in the United States. That's one every 8-seconds. But every three-and-a-half minutes, a baby is born with complications. From the very minor to the most serious, multiple births, pre-term births, low birth weights, and a variety of birth defects affect the delivery and health of more experiences pregnancy complications. These cases require Special Delivery.

Special Delivery is a series of forty-six one-hour multi-segment documentary-style programs that will explore the drama of real-life pregnancies and the moment of delivery.

From the high risk maternity ward at Palm Springs Desert Regional Hospital, this episode of Special Delivery details the stories of five women facing difficult deliveries.

Thirty Eight year old Leah Mangue is 34 weeks pregnant with a baby that must be delivered as soon as possible. Inside her uterus is a giant fibroid – almost the size of a small soccer ball. Doctors don’t know if the growth is cancerous. Right now, the fibroid is displacing the baby – which could restrict his growth.

Twenty year-old Stephanie Lewis is terrified of seeing her baby. Two years ago, Stephanie’s first child was born with spinal muscular atrophy and spina bifida - a birth defect of the spine. In the next hour, Stephanie and her husband will find out if they have beaten the genetic odds or if they will have to relive their nightmare.

Thirty Five year old Eva Harding is about to deliver her first child. But, her heart may not be able to withstand the stress. Eva has pulmonary stenosis. Although Eva’s heart has functioned normally for the past 21 years, it has never been put to this kind of test and the stress could kill her.

First-time mother-to-be Adrienne Shuler is 33-weeks pregnant, and she has toxemia - commonly known as pregnancy induced hypertension. To make matters worse, Adrienne began bleeding and passing clots -- signs of a possible placental abruption that can be deadly to both mother and baby.

Anniemae Miller has been pregnant seven times, but has only two children. Anniemae has never carried her pregnancies past 34 weeks. This baby, 37 weeks in utero seems like an absolute miracle. But her doctors don’t want a repeat of previous pregnancies, so they’ve scheduled a C-section. But any type of delivery can be dangerous for Anniemae.

Special Delivery is produced by LMNO Cable Group, Inc. for Discovery Health. Eric Schotz and Bob Niemack are Executive Producers.