Hallmark Star Alexa PenaVega's Fourth Pregnancy Quickly Became Her Most Difficult

Sometimes, practice makes perfect. But when it comes to something as unpredictable and physically strenuous as a pregnancy, no amount of prior pregnancies can prepare you for the possibility of something going terribly wrong. Such was the case for Hallmark star Alexa PenaVega, whose fourth pregnancy proved to be her most arduous.

The "Love at Sea" actor shared her alarming pregnancy news in an Instagram vlog on March 18, 2024. By the time she made the news of her prenatal scare public, she had already been in the hospital for five days. PenaVega explained that before her hospitalization, she had visited a doctor for minimal bleeding but that the problem had resolved on its own.

Days later, it came back with a vengeance. PenaVega described going to the bathroom early one morning and seeing a shocking amount of blood. She called for her husband, Big Time Rush star Carlos PenaVega, who immediately took Alexa and the kids to the hospital. It turns out the expecting mother had suffered a placental abruption — another serious complication in a long string of hardships Alexa has faced in her previous pregnancies.

The PenaVegas' harrowing trip to the hospital turned miraculous

As Alexa PenaVega explained in her Instagram vlog, the sudden onset of bleeding and what she described as "other liquids" led her to believe something was gravely wrong with her fourth pregnancy. She described the frantic dash to the hospital, during which she couldn't feel her baby move. "By the grace of God," she said, "on the drive over, baby finally started kicking. So, I think it was just asleep. But that was definitely very scary."

The former "Spy Kids" star said her medical team determined she had experienced a partial tear of her placenta from her uterus. This uncommon condition can result in heavy bleeding like PenaVega experienced, as well as critical oxygen and nutrient deficiency for the infant in utero. Luckily, the actor said her water hadn't broken like she initially thought, and the baby was safe. PenaVega said that as long as her condition didn't worsen, her pregnancy remained low-risk.

"Now it's just a matter of, like, 'How long can we keep it like this?'" PenaVega said in her video. "'How long can I keep baby in my tummy? How long do I have to be in the hospital for?' I'm just gonna cherish every extra day that I get with little baby." While this health concern was undoubtedly a huge struggle for Carlos and Alexa PenaVega, it's hardly the first time the couple has experienced unexpected bumps in their pregnancies.

Alexa PenaVega dealt with multiple hardships with her third son, Rio

Months before her hospitalization, Alexa PenaVega shared her trepidations about having a fourth child in a vlog from 2022 she posted to Instagram. She explained that she was nervous to find out if she was pregnant again, saying, "There were a lot more pains throughout that [3rd] pregnancy — random scares. A lot of ups and downs." PenaVega noted that while she wasn't fearful, per sé, she wanted to ensure she was as prepared as possible the fourth time.

Indeed, PenaVega's third pregnancy with son Rio had several strenuous complications. The Hallmark star detailed her struggle with painful varicose veins in several pregnancy vlogs, and she had also experienced bleeding with Rio, though nothing as significant as her 2024 scare. Amidst all of her physical health concerns, Alexa and Carlos PenaVega were also in the process of renovating a houseboat — they've since moved to Tennessee and listed their boat, waiting to return to their dream of sailing the world another time — and juggling their busy work schedule. 

PenaVega continued working throughout most of her pregnancies (her second oldest, Kingston, even made a guest appearance in one of his mom's Hallmark movies), though she had to step back during her 4th. "Every single day that I'm still pregnant and in this hospital is literally a miracle," Alexa said in her March vlog. "It's just a waiting game for all of us."