Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic: Jessica’s Story
“I had an easy pregnancy,” says Jessica. “At my first ultrasound, my family doctor told me ‘I think you’re going to have a super uneventful nine months.’”
The last thing Jessica expected was to need the services of Humber River Hospital’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic, which provides care for women experiencing higher-risk pregnancies.
In the final stretch of her pregnancy, Jessica was diagnosed with a liver condition called cholestasis of pregnancy. Then at her 34 week appointment, her obstetrician Dr. Daniela Caprara noticed some abnormalities on her most recent ultrasound. Jessica’s blood pressure was high, and the baby’s weight looked off.
“There were probably so many things that she could have jumped ahead on, but Dr. Caprara focused on what I needed to know in that moment,” says Jessica. “She told me to go to Humber and that she would tell them I was coming.”
At the Hospital, Jessica was brought to a room right away. Dr. Caprara had mentioned that she was going to have Jessica and her husband Andrew meet with Dr. Howard Berger from the Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic.
“We learned that our baby had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, and that my cholestasis increased his chance of a stillbirth after 38 weeks. Something bad could happen at any time,” remembers Jessica. “Dr. Berger and our Maternal Fetal Medicine nurse Sue were incredible and calm during a time that felt so chaotic. I knew I was in the right place should anything happen.”
Jessica and Andrew lived at the Hospital for 17 days in their single room. Andrew slept on the convertible sleeper chair that pulled out into a bed and used Jessica’s food table as a work desk during the day.
“There are so many patients on that floor and we still felt like we were a priority,” says Jessica. “That was remarkable. Our care team always remembered who we were and what we were going through, physically and emotionally. Their support really helped.”
One day, Jessica’s water broke. In seconds, her nurses Melissa and Grace had her out of her pajamas, on her bed to be swabbed. By the next morning, she was admitted to Labour and Delivery.
“My nurse Katie told me she was going to make my pushing experience as minimal as possible,” says Jessica. “She was 10 steps ahead of knowing what I needed the whole time, and any time she left the room I knew she was keeping an eye on our vitals with her phone.”
Baby Nicholas was delivered by Dr. Caprara, and a nurse and a paediatrician from the NICU who had been on standby calmly started taking his measurements. After weeks of worrying about her pregnancy complications, Jessica hoped that Nicholas was alright.
“Is he okay?” she asked.
“He’s perfect.” They replied.
Three months later, Jessica and Andrew are living life as new parents to healthy baby Nicholas.
“I’m so grateful the Maternal Fetal Medicine clinic was accessible to us in our community Hospital,” says Jessica. “The care between the clinic and my OB was seamless. Everyone at Humber was looking out for us. We are so appreciative for the whole team and our little boy.”