Welcome Caleb - Cesarean due to HELLP Syndrome

January 13, 2011
Emergency C-section

Hi Rhonda,

Thought I'd shoot you a quick note to give you an update on the arrival of Caleb. I know Peter gave you a call to update you on our delivery as well.

Due to some strange enzymatic condition which triggered Acute Fatty Livery Disease of pregnancy causing HELLP syndrome, Caleb had to arrive a lot sooner than we anticipated. What started as a routine visit to the midwife at 5:00 pm quickly moved to an an emergency c-section. I had been feeling horrible for the week preceeding delivery, unable to keep much food down and extremely tired. All normal symptoms of late pregnancy that were being followed by my midwives. The big difference that Thursday as that my blood pressure spiked, and then lab tests at the hospital showed that nearly every measurable item was out of whack (liver enzymes, kidneys, platlets, INR levels). Eventually my condition decreased so rapidly that they ended up having no choice but to use a general anesthetic. I don't remember much from the first two days post delivery, and for the next five days the pain from my abdominal discomfort was much more than my c-section incision pain.

While we are naturally disappointed that we did not get an opportunity to use the labour techniques we practiced during class (and looked so lovely doing in the photographs!) we are so grateful for having attended your classes. Most importantly it provided 10 weeks of time for us to spend together with each other preparing for the birth of our child. We both tend to dive into our work and various other commitments so much, that having the regularly scheduled Thursday evening together allowed us to strengthen our relationship prior to Caleb's arrival. Next the information you provided on complications during pregnancy allowed us to speak the same language as the medical staff and ensure that were were not snowballed with information. And finally, the practice sessions on dealing with medical staff (something we thought we would never use, no, not us, we were having our baby at home!) have come in so handy as we receive conflicting information about my care and Caleb's care and navigate to finding what is best for me and baby!

We'll look forward to seeing you at our reunion session or before when I return the breastfeeding DVD. Caleb had a rocky start with breastfeeding but has really turned the corner in the past day or so and we should be able to to wean him off the bottle they feed him with in the NICU. He is still at the Rockyview but they are looking at releasing him really soon as he meets his feed milestones and deals with his complicated jaundice (our blood types - while both RH + - are incompatible!)

Thanks so much,

Marissa & Peter