High-Risk Pregnancy and Delivery at Humber River Hospital: Amanda’s Story
Amanda was distraught to learn that her complex pregnancy would likely mean delivering her son in a high-risk surgery under general anaesthetic at a hospital far from home. But to her relief, her OBGYN Dr. Lynn Sterling ensured she was able to deliver at Humber under the care of an incredible team.
In 2021, Amanda had surgery at Humber River Hospital to remove the fibroids in her uterus that were preventing her from getting pregnant.
“I had a great experience at Humber,” says Amanda. “My OBGYN, Dr. Lynn Sterling, was so supportive during this time, even calling to check in on me while she was on maternity leave.”
The surgery was successful and Amanda was delighted to become pregnant shortly afterwards; however, her pregnancy was classified as high risk and she was referred to Humber River Hospital’s Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Clinic for additional monitoring throughout her pregnancy.
In addition to visits with Dr. Sterling, Amanda began seeing Dr. Howard Berger, an OBGYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, who was instrumental in establishing the MFM Clinic. Through an additional ultrasound, he identified that Amanda had placenta accreta, a serious condition in which the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall and that can cause complications during delivery.
“After the ultrasound, I had an MRI to see exactly how deeply my placenta was embedded in my uterus—and it showed that it was very deep,” recalls Amanda. “I learned that I would have to be put under general anaesthetic so they could safely remove my placenta during my C-Section and that my husband would not be able to stay in the room. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to deliver at Humber with Dr. Sterling who I trusted so much.”
Amanda’s delivery would be complex and high-risk, but Dr. Sterling had full confidence that the team at Humber could provide the care that she needed.
At 34 weeks, Amanda began leaking amniotic fluid and was admitted to the Hospital immediately so she could be monitored closely. Her placenta accreta meant that going into labour naturally would be a risk to her and the baby.
“Dr. Sterling checked in on me often during that time and in addition to monitoring my physical condition, she would also go out of her way to ask how I was doing emotionally. I never once felt like I didn’t know what was going on. I was confident that I was in the best hands, which made this a much less scary time.”
When her team determined it was safest to do so, five days after being admitted, Amanda was brought into the operating room to deliver her baby. Before undergoing the procedure, she was introduced to the team that would be attending to her, which included Dr. Sterling, Dr. Gilbert Miller, Dr. Lesley Hawkins, and anaesthesiologist Dr. Stan Konieczny.
According to Amanda, “the doctors and nurses were fantastic. Dr. Hawkins went out of her way to reassure me. Dr. Sterling held my hand while I fell asleep and made sure she was there when I woke up—which for her was at the end of a 12-hour shift. In fact, the whole team made a point of coming to see me after the surgery, including Dr. Konieczny. On top of that, because I was under anaesthetic and my husband couldn’t be with me, the nurses arranged to borrow his phone to take pictures of our baby’s birth for us.”
Amanda and her husband, Domenic, are now the proud parents of baby Julian. Because he was born early, Julian was admitted to Humber’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit but was given a clean bill of health and discharged after nine days.
“Julian is four months old now and thriving,” says Amanda proudly. “He eats, he sleeps, he’s happy–and he rolled over the other day! Everything worked out and I truly have Dr. Sterling and the rest of the team at Humber River Hospital to thank for that. I’m so grateful to have had the best care and to have had it so close to home.”